Inside The Bills

Little margin for error vs. proven QB

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2014 – 12:48 pm

Buffalo’s defense has played pretty well in the preseason, particularly the starting unit. Going against a proven QB like Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger is seen by Bills’ defenders as a good thing as they prepare for the regular season.

MLB Brandon Spikes likes facing top QBs because it forces a defensive unit to be on point with every detail of their scheme. If they’re not a signal caller like Roethlisberger will take advantage.

“I think you’ve just got to know that the margin of error is very small with a veteran guy like that who can bring it,” said Spikes. “If you make one little slight mistake he can bring it and it can go a long way. So you just want to execute the defense and stay on the same page and basically that’s all it is. It’s really simple. As long as we communicate I think we’ll be good.”

In the Hall of Fame game Buffalo’s defense fared well in keeping another two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback under wraps in the Giants’ Eli Manning.

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Spikes collides with former teammate in hole

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2014 – 10:58 pm

Brandon Spikes was brought to Buffalo to primarily help sure up the run defense. The past two days in practices against the Steelers Spikes met a very familiar adversary in the hole during first down work in 11-on-11.

Pittsburgh ran LeGarrette Blount as their first team back in the joint practices. Blount rolled up a ton of rushing yards in the season finale last season, and had a few good runs Wednesday. Those runs were fewer and further between Thursday, but Spikes enjoyed going up against his former teammate.

“It was good. We were good friends up in New England,” said Spikes of Blount. “He’s still doing the same thing, physical back, coming downhill. He looks great.”

Blount rolled up 189 rushing yards and averaged 7.9 yards a carry against the Bills in the season finale at New England.

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The 2 things Spikes wants from ‘D’ at practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2014 – 2:29 pm

Bills MLB Brandon Spikes felt his defense’s performance was ok on Wednesday against the Steelers, but is convinced it can be a whole lot better as the team gets set for a second go round with Pittsburgh. Here are the two areas where Spikes is going to be demanding better.

“Honestly I feel like the first day was good facing a different team, but it wasn’t good enough,” Spikes said. “Defensively we went over the corrections this morning and we’re going to go out there today and execute.”

The area where Spikes wants to see the most improvement is in pre-snap communication.

“That’s what I was a little disappointed in on Wednesday,” he said. “I figured we were all sound, but when you see different stuff and how they’re attacking with the motions and moving guys around we’ve got to stay on top of that. Hopefully we can improve on that and get the job done.”



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Bills ‘D’ aims to add attitude to production

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2014 – 9:54 am

Buffalo’s defense was a top 10 ranked unit and was top five in interceptions and second in sacks. Now Bills defenders are looking to add a bit of attitude to all that production this season.

“It’s just one of the things we’re trying to do to get better,” said Aaron Williams. “We don’t want to take crap from anybody. When somebody jumps in your face we’re not going to let it go.  We’re trying to be a different defense, more attitude, and just trying to  have the attitude that we’re going to win.”

Williams feels adding attitude to the unit has only been enhanced by the presence of Brandon Spikes and Corey Graham.

“That’s what they bring to the defense.  They’ve been on great defenses where the attitude is they are the best defense, and that’s what they bring to the team, that’s what we want them to contribute to the team,” Williams said. “We’re glad we added them to the team.  Not only do they bring their skill set, they bring their experience and their attitude, that’s one of the positives that we have.”

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Bradham, Rivers flanking Spikes

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2014 – 6:18 pm

As the defense prepares for their first practice two veteran linebackers are flanking MLB Brandon Spikes.

Nigel Bradham and Keith Rivers are lined up on either side of him with Rivers in Kiko Alonso’s spot.

Rookie Preston Brown is rotating in with Spikes at MLB.

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Spikes: Pepper will boost D-line performance

Posted by Chris Brown on June 23, 2014 – 11:09 am

As we began our Camp Countdown series today we asked just how dominant Buffalo’s defensive line can be in 2014. Bills MLB Brandon Spikes is very familiar with the level of talent that will be playing in front of him on Buffalo’s defensive line. Three Pro Bowlers and a 10-sack guy last season are projected as the front four for the Bills. Spikes also knows the man who will be coaching them this year very well in Pepper Johnson. Here’s where Spikes feels Johnson will best help in making Buffalo’s defensive line truly elite.

“I think he can just kind of provide the wisdom part of the game,” Spikes told “He played at a high level playing and coaching. I think he has stuff that some coaches don’t get because he’s seen it in the past with the helmet on. He has a great deal of experience. I think showing up the D-line is already great. I think they’re pretty good right now, but with him giving the extra fundamentals and small little things that can tip the game I think it can take them to the next level. I’m anxious to see those guys get out there and take some of that coaching from him and put it on the field. I can’t wait to see it.”

The boost will be needed most when it comes to run defense, an area where both Johnson and Spikes figure to be of help this fall.

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Spikes anxious to “shock the world”

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2014 – 2:07 pm

Bills MLB Brandon Spikes has made a good first impression on his defensive teammates. He’s also pretty excited about the collection of talent on his side of the ball in Buffalo. It’s why he believes the Bills are going to do some damage with their defensive unit this season.

“Me personally that just comes with the territory at mike linebacker you’re like the quarterback of the defense, and I embrace that role,” he said. “I’m just out here letting guys know I’m here and ready to get better and I’m all in. I think we’re going to shock the world this year so I’m anxious and I think the defense is anxious to so I think we’re going to open some eyes.”

Spikes has been working mainly with the first team defense in their base package and is also working in certain nickel packages. Special teams coordinator Danny Crossman even has him as a backup on the kick return unit.

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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2014 – 7:35 am

Here’s where you can find Bills coaches and players on the local and national radio airwaves Thursday.

8:00 am – Brandon Spikes on WGR 550

2:30 pm – Doug Marrone on Sirius Mad Dog Radio w/ Adam Schein

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Bills LBs listed as one of two elite units

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2014 – 11:32 am

We’re a long way from regular season football when Buffalo’s linebacking unit can prove it, but they’re getting an awful lot of pub as one of the top groups in the NFL.

SB Nation in putting together their top linebacking corps in the league list the Bills as one of two “elite” units along with the 49ers. Here’s what was written about Buffalo’s group, which has new faces in Brandon Spikes, Keith Rivers and Preston Brown.

Buffalo Bills
MLB/WLB Kiko Alonso, MLB Brandon Spikes, SLB Manny Lawson, WLB/ILB Nigel Bradham, OLB Ty Powell, MLB/OLB Keith Rivers, MLB Preston BrownThe Bills already had a very nice group of linebackers in 2013 featuring Nigel Bradham, Manny Lawson, and highlighted by Kiko Alonso’s Defensive Rookie of the Year performance. Alonso racked up an impressive 159 tackles while adding 11 passes defensed and four picks in his premiere season out of Oregon. Alonso is an instinctive, fast-flowing and aggressive linebacker built in the “new-school” mode which asks for more speed and coverage ability.

Because of this, he will now play on the weakside in base downs his sophomore season with the addition of Brandon Spikes in free agency. Spikes, a fearsome old-school run stopper that has yet to prove he’s a three-down player, will likely rotate a little bit with Bradham and Alonso in nickel or third down looks, as both are strong in pass coverage. Alonso in particular

With the selection of Preston Brown in the Draft, Buffalo’s linebackers group gets another talent infusion, and with Ty Powell and Keith Rivers for depth, I like the group they’ve built there.

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Takeo still pulls for the Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on April 1, 2014 – 2:17 pm

As we profiled on, former Buffalo Pro Bowl LB Takeo Spikes has been reconnected to the team through his younger cousin Brandon Spikes, who will wear the same jersey number and play the same position as Spikes did in Buffalo. Spikes in a conversation with said even though his NFL career is over and he played for five teams, he pulls for one team more than any other.

“This is the truth when I say this,” Spikes told ‘There is no team I pull for more than the Buffalo Bills because I feel those fans deserve it more than anyone else in the league. They really do.”

Spikes said with his younger cousin now playing in Buffalo he will try to come up and take in a home game this fall.

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Spikes gets caught up in March Madness

Posted by Chris Brown on March 24, 2014 – 9:12 am

Bills LB Brandon Spikes got into a bet on Twitter on the Villanova-UCONN game over the weekend. He thought Nova was going to bounce their former Big East rival UCONN in their second round matchup Saturday and tweeted as much. A fan responded with a friendly wager that Spikes accepted.

A fan from Dartmouth, New Hampshire proposed that UCONN had to not only beat Villanova, but win by at least seven and if they did Spikes had to buy him tickets to the Bills-Patriots game in New England this fall. If Villanova won, the fan had to wear Spikes new Bills jersey to the Bills-Patriots game.

The Huskies won by 12 Saturday night and Spikes will have to make good on a pair of seats at Gillette Stadium this fall. The New England fan, 25-year old Matt Alfonso, said he’ll grab Spikes new Bills jersey on his own dime anyway.

Here was Spikes response to Alfonso, promising to have the tickets for him.

Spikes’ Florida Gators are still in the tournament. They’ll face UCLA in Memphis later this week.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Spikes already dreaming about playing Pats

Posted by Chris Brown on March 17, 2014 – 3:11 pm

He’s only been a Bills linebacker for a few days after signing with the club late last week, but he’s already been dreaming about facing his old team twice this fall.

Brandon Spikes is an intense competitor and while he said he’ll have life long friends on that roster, it’s clear facing New England will hold a lot of meaning for him this coming season.

“It’s going to be emotional for me,” said Spikes. “I have dreamt about it already. I believe it’ll be an emotional game. I’ll probably be in tears the entire game. I know it’s going to be a battle. It’s definitely going to be a battle for all time. I’m looking forward to that and I’ll definitely be dreaming about it every night until it comes this fall.”

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LB Spikes says he’s healthy

Posted by Chris Brown on March 7, 2014 – 10:52 am

On today (Friday) we previewed the free agent market at linebacker, which is expected to include New England’s Brandon Spikes. Spikes, however, dealt with a knee injury for much of the season. With the free agent market set to open next week, the linebacker insisted he’s healthy.

ESPN Boston reporter Field Yates quoted Spikes from an appearance on NFLAM on NFL Network where Spikes confirmed his clean bill of health.

We listed Spikes as a possible free agent addition for the Bills if they’re interested in adding some attitude and a run stuffing specialist to their front seven.

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Choice takes issue with Spikes actions

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2012 – 4:54 pm

Bad enough that Patriots LB Brandon Spikes had an illegal helmet to helmet hit on Ryan Fitzpatrick that drew a flag and a likely fine from the league. Spikes also showboated after his hit on Fred Jackson that have him a concussion. That didn’t sit well with Tashard Choice.

“I don’t like to see anybody get hurt and then on top of that (Spikes) making fun of him while he’s on the ground. That really got me stirred up,” said Tashard Choice of the Patriot linebacker’s actions, “He’ll get his though. When players go down from concussions they’re serious. He wasn’t moving. It’s cool to make a big hit, but it’s not cool when somebody is down like that. He’s a good player, but you don’t do that.”

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Fitz calls Pats LB Spikes “a punk”

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2012 – 6:25 pm

Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had his helmet knocked clean off his head by Patriots LB Brandon Spikes on an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit that was flagged by officials in the fourth quarter. When Fitzpatrick got back up minus his helmet he went and confronted Spikes face to face. He also had some choice words to describe the type of player he thinks Spikes is after the game.

“I think the biggest thing is we’re not going to back down from anybody,” said Fitzpatrick. “Spikes is an emotional player. I think he’s a punk at times and took a cheap shot at Scott in the first game and was doing a lot of jabbering and talking and hitting out there. Not one of my favorite players. Not high on my list. I think that’s our mentality and I think it’s important that you make sure you don’t back down from anybody.”

Spikes was fined $21 thousand for the cheap shot he took on Scott Chandler in the first meeting between the two teams. He’s likely to draw another fine from the league for his latest dirty hit, which could be even more money being a repeat offender. 

Jerod Mayo was also flagged for unnecessary roughness when he body slammed C.J. Spiller to the ground out of bounds later in the fourth quarter. The penalty led to a Donald Jones touchdown.

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Pats LB Spikes fined for Chandler hit

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2012 – 4:44 pm

New England Patriots LB Brandon Spikes, who forced a pair of fumbles in the Pats’ Week 4 win over Buffalo, also cold-cocked Scott Chandler after a second half interception play. The NFL caught up with him Friday as he was slapped with a sizable fine.

According to Spikes confirmed he was hit with a $21 thousand fine for an illegal blindside block. Spikes made helmet to helmet contact on the play and forced Chandler from the game with a head injury. He did not return to the game, but did pass concussion tests conducted by the team’s medical staff. He’s listed as probable for Sunday’s game against San Francisco.

Bills GM Buddy Nix didn’t appreciate the hit. When asked in his weekly radio appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550 if Chandler said anything to coach Gailey or him about the hit Nix said there was a reason Chandler didn’t.

“Chandler didn’t say anything because he was out of the game. He went to the dressing room after that lick. We turn something into the league every week and we get a response every week. That was done and normally publicly nothing ever comes of it, but it was a flagrant late hit.”

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Pats LB a game time decision?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2010 – 9:59 am

Patriots ILB Brandon Spikes was added to the injury report on Friday as probable with a calf injury might be more iffy than some might think.’s Mike Reiss is reporting that several New England assistants just watched Spikes trying to warm up on the field.

New England just promoted LB Shawn Crable from their practice squad to the 53-man roster late this week, but Spikes’ fellow rookie might be the player that dresses here this afternoon per Reiss.

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