Brandon Spikes is talking again, perhaps crying wolf. His defense may be a bit incomplete during these OTAs, but when they get together and get on the same page, he thinks they will be a unit to fear.
“I think we’re gonna shock the world this year,” Spikes said to NFL.com after Monday’s practice. “I’m anxious and I think the defense is anxious too. So we’re ready to open some eyes.”
The Bills boasted the 4th best pass yards allowed per game in 2013. In their successful attempts to stifle opposing passing attacks, they seemingly gave up on rush defense. The Bills rushing defense was horrid last season, allowing 128.9 yards per game, 28th worst in the NFL. It’s somewhat fitting that the Bills signed Spikes, primarily a rush defender who was a liability in the passing defense. His signing made a great deal of sense to shore up the Bills deficiencies.
It’s not like there’s a gold paved road for the Bills. They are thin at safety and defensive tackle. Star safety Jairus Byrd signed with the Saints and stud defensive tackle has run into legal trouble and disciplinary issues. Those were the Bills two premier players last year. And of the free agent additions (Spikes, Keith Rivers and Corey Graham), Spikes was the most productive of the bunch. If they really want to shock the world, or the NFL for that matter, they will all need to improve as a unit under new coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Most of all, if Spikes wants this Bills team to stiffen up, he is going to have to hoist their run defense onto his shoulders. A little help from Mario Williams wouldn’t be bad thing either.