Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/1/12
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Brandon Spikes turned 25 just before the start of the regular season, which actually makes him one of the more senior players on the Patriots defense. But even at his "old age," in the locker room at least, Spikes says he feels like a teenager again. "Honestly, this is the best I've ever felt in my life. I feel like I'm 18," Spikes said. "I can go play this week, or next week. I feel great, man." Spikes, now in his third NFL season, has become a major contributor at linebacker for New England. He has 50 tackles, three forced fumbles and one sack on the season, and he's become a key component in the NFL's best rushing defense, which is allowing just 3.5 yards per attempt. At 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds, Spikes is an imposing physical specimen and an intimidating presence when flying across the field to lay a monstrous hit on any quarterback, running back or receiver. And Spikes sure does love to hit. "There's no greater feeling than to impose your will on another man. Just stop what he's trying to get done," Spikes said. "It's kind of fun, I get a kick out of it." The brutal hits that Spikes lays down may leave opposing players battered and bruised, but apparently the big hits don't faze the bulldozing linebacker. "Seriously, I'm a physical guy. I'm a big, boney guy," Spikes said with a laugh. "I don't really feel any of it." Beyond just hitting though, Spikes loves playing the game of football. He's a very passionate player, and just because the Patriots won't be out on the field this weekend doesn't mean Spikes won't still be working. "Me, personally, I'm still going to be working. I'm not just saying it because of you guys, I just want to be a professional," Spikes said. "I want to be the best at my position. So, I can't let a day get by. I'm definitely going to enjoy my family [during the time off], but at the same time still trying to get an edge." That type of determination and work ethic can be contagious for developing teams like the Patriots. And with a much larger role this season, Spikes may be a big reason for the steady success. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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