ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Set to face his former team Sunday, Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes did a double-take Wednesday when a reporter read him a quote from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
"Yeah, we know him. I don't think he's changed much," Belichick said earlier Wednesday. "Hair might be a little longer. He's about the same."
Spikes, whose tenure in New England ended after he was placed on injured reserve last season, was taken aback.
"Really? What a pleasant surprise," Spikes said. "I don't know ... I expected him ... you guys know how it all ended. I don't think he held a grudge. It is what it is. Players change teams every year, every week. So it just is what it is."
After signing with the Bills as a free agent this past offseason, Spikes contested the Patriots' decision to place him on injured reserve in January.
"I heard they put me on IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report," Spikes said in a March radio interview. "That's just how things go there. Almost like what happened with [Aqib] Talib and his hip."
The NFL investigated and later cleared the Patriots of any wrongdoing with either Spikes' or Talib's injuries.
Spikes had high praise for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who will face Spikes as an opponent for the first time after four seasons of practicing against one another.
"Brady always has a chip on his shoulder. Me, I refer to him as 'Pharaoh,' because he's amazing," Spikes said. "I always respect him, because he comes out every year with that edge. That's what the great ones do."