Speaking during his weekly appearance on The Big Show, Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork talked extensively about the perception of linebacker Brandon Spikes.
After the Patriots' 37-31 win over the Bills Sunday, Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick called Spikes "a punk, at times," having been driven to the ground by Spikes on a third-quarter hit, resulting in a personal foul penalty. Spikes also drove Buffalo running back Fred Jackson from the game with a hit late in the fourth quarter, forcing a fumble that the Bills ultimately recovered.
"I tell you what, I wouldn't be a fan of Spikes either when he's knocking the hell out of people every time," Wilfork said when asked about the comment. "I wouldn't be a fan either.
"I tell you one thing, when this defense needs a play, that is probably the first guy you look at on our defense to make a play, which he did. Plain and simple. I think he's probably one of the most hard-hitting, most feared linebackers in the game. You can put him up with whomever you want to put him up with. I would take him over any of them, because I know when it's time to go and when it's time to get after it and we need the ball knocked off of somebody -- not just making somebody drop -- take the ball away, he's the first person I would turn to. He gave it to us again yesterday. He had a hell of a hit on Jackson and that ball was loose. I wouldn't be a big fan of him either if I had to take hits from him all day, so you have to take it with a grain of salt."
Wilfork explained he has a unique perspective on at the reputation Spikes has seemingly garnered, having been classified as one of the NFL's dirtiest players early on in his career. The defensive lineman admitted that he had to adjust to the times, a lesson he is trying to pass on to his teammate.
"You just have to watch yourself, because I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago where you have to alter your game," Wilfork said. "You have to alter it just enough so you can stay aggressive and don't shy away from what you do best. And it's tough. it's very, very tough to do. Now you're talking about a linebacker and they're hitting every play. Just like a running back, they're running the ball every play so they're in the mix on every play with something. So it's going to be tough, but at the same time you have to do that in this game because the spotlight is going to be on him. I'll be the first to tell him because, like I said, I was there before too where I had to alter my game.
"It's frustrating because it takes away from guys being aggressive. It takes away from the game itself. Years and years and years of football that's been played before, it just wipes that stuff away because it doesn't exist anymore. That type of football don't exist anymore. So you don't have the clothesline. You don't have the receiver coming across the middle getting his head knocked off. You don't have those types of plays anymore because of the way the game is going, and I think that's disrespectful for the guys who lay the foundation for us. When you talk about great players, you think about guys who are known for hitting and you wipe that away because of this new era in football. But, you know what, as long as it's the new era of football, and that's what they want, you have to alter your game to play with that until you get tired of it. To me, I'm a football player and I love looking at those old highlights. I love seeing people get knocked off because receivers used to fear running across the field. But now you have receivers running across right in front of people because they know they're protected with flags and protected by the league. This is definitely a league for offense for offenses nowadays."
To listen to the entire interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.
For more Patriots news, go to the team page at weei.com/patriots.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated joins the show to talk about the Patriots clinching homefield advantage and who the AFC is contenders.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the Patriots' approach for Sunday's game against Buffalo, a game rendered essentially meaningless now that the Patriots have clinched the No. 1 seed.
Bruschi joins the conversation on the Patriots win over the Jets and other games over the weekend.
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Jon talks about his experiences with free agency, what it would have taken to sign him to the Red Sox last season, and his experiences with fans since signing with the Cubs.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.
Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
Just like on a Sunday morning in the summer, Butch Stearns and Steve Buckley hit the airwaves to talk about the Bruins win last night, and Patriots possibly resting starters against Buffalo this Sunday.
Nancy Frates called in to discuss her son Pete and her granddaughter Lucy.
Tom joined the show to discuss the close win over the Jets and Rex Ryan's comments.
A Christmas eve edition of "The Price is Right," Chris Price of WEEI.com makes some predictions for the Patriots Sunday afternoon tilt against the visiting Buffalo Bills.
Andy Brickley joined the show to talk about the Bruins, who are in the midst of a 3-game winning streak. The team clearly has deficiencies and may need to make a few moves before the deadline.
Bradford asks everyone who will listen, "Who's the most famous person to use your bathroom?"
Bruins Play-by-Play announcer breaks down the Bruins season so far.
For each of the 4 major sports teams, we give our naughty and nice lists.
Jerry and DJ are out to prove that this Christmas classic is one of the creepiest songs of all-time
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
DJ and Scott reveal the greatest Christmas song of all time: Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs." They also discuss the Christmas outrage of Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs" being left off Rumours.
Scott McLaughlin of WEEI and Chris Peters of CBS’ Eye on Hockey preview this year’s World Junior Championship and break down Team USA’s strengths and weaknesses. The U.S. opens the tournament against Finland on Friday.
Sam and Ben react to the Rondo trade and talk about the top 5 players in the NBA. The Celtics get their 2014 superlatives.
NBC Sports analyst, Rodney Harrison, joined the show to talk about how he doesn't think Bill Belichick should rest the starters in week 17. He also warned against falling asleep on the Denver Broncos, Brady's durability, the Bengals and the Seahawks.More from this show
Jackie MacMullan, ESPN, talks with Tim and Steve about the Patriots resting the starters in Week 17. Jackie's argument is that they have a bye, so they're gonna be rusty REGARDLESS of whether or not they play in week 17, so keep them safe. She also spoke about Peyton's MNF performance, and how the Celtics have looked since the trade of Rajon Rondo.More from this show