Spikes and the old-school approach

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes held court with reporters on Thursday at Gillette Stadium, and here were a few notable soundbites:

On embracing contact and seeking it out. "With today's game, it's changed a lot. As far as the linebackers that played back in the day, they were really aggressive and big. I feel like I try to mold my game like that. You don't see that too much from linebackers. I just want to bring that to the game."

On modeling his game after old-school linebackers. "My thing is, when I'm done with this, I want the older guys when they watch to say, 'He's playing the position the right way.' It's just a point of respect for me."

How a more spread-out game has challenged him to adapt his style of play. "I definitely have to stay agile. I play basketball so that helps me out, but I still have a lot of work to do. I feel like, as far as my performance, I've been inconsistent. So if I can start to do all the little things and getting better every week, I feel like I could have a great season."

Do big hits lead to an intimidation factor? "Absolutely. A lot of guys, they know the new rules. I don't think I've done anything illegal. I've tried to keep it legal, but I just want to kind of try to make a point -- when I hit a guy, I want him [to say], 'Oh, that was Spikes that hit me. I know that already.'"

Bringing passion and energy to the defense. "It's just something that comes natural. I always have been like that, ever since I was little I played with a lot of emotion. I just love the game. You can tell I'm having fun playing. It's just a part of me."