From the moment Brandon Spikes became a Patriot in 2010 he's always been a bit different. During his first training camp with the team, Spikes' style was described by Bill Belichick as being effective but not necessarily the way a coach would teach it. Since then he's often traveled to beat of his own drummer, and this spring has been no exception.
During the start of the offseason program and organized team activities, Spikes chose to stay in Florida and work out on his own. In doing so he was the only member of the team who did not appear until the current mandatory mini-camp got underway on Tuesday.
"I just feel like I was trying to put myself in the best position to compete for a spot on the team, and also help this team win a championship," Spikes said after Tuesday's practice. "You guys know me – I do things a little different from everybody else. I don't think that's bad or a shocker. Honestly, if everybody in this world was a conformist, it would be one boring place."
Clearly Spikes felt the best situation for him personally was to remain on his own rather than slug it out on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium throughout OTAs, which are voluntary. The question is, why?
"I stayed in contact with some guys out here, making sure things weren't changing in the meeting room and stuff like that," Spikes said. "I just wanted to stay on top of my game, and I felt like being somewhere else, on my own, I normally do better and be productive that way."
The linebacker mentioned rehabbing a knee injury he played through in 2012 as part of his reason for remaining in Florida but added that he currently feels great.
On Tuesday Belichick mentioned the fact that all the players had been on hand for OTAs "except one," an obvious reference to Spikes. The following day he was asked about his reaction to any player choosing to skip the voluntary workouts.
"It is what it is. We all know what the rules and the guidelines are and that's what they are," the coach stated.
What Spikes' decision ultimately means is unclear at the moment. He is entering the final year of his contract but thus far has offered no indication that he plans to holdout of anything he's requires to attend. He said he would "absolutely" be at training camp come July but offered little when asked if he had any issues with his current contract.
"Now you know I can't speak on that. Why would you ask me that?" Spikes said before adding, "No comment guys. No comment."