FOXBORO -- If you've seen him play, you already know. Brandon Spikes likes to hit people.
"There's no greater feeling than when you can impose your will on another man and absolutely just stop what he trying to get done," Spikes said Thursday with a smile. "It's kind of fun. I get a kick out of it."
He likes other things too, like spending time with his family, which he said he'll do this weekend.
But Spikes really likes to hit people. He really likes football. And he really wants to see his team get better for the second half of the season.
For that reason, he's not the bye week's biggest fan.
"Me personally, I'm still gonna be working," Spikes said when asked for his bye-week plans.
"I'm not just saying that. I wanna just be a professional. I wanna be the best at my position. I can't let a day get by. I'm definitely going to enjoy my family but at the same time, still trying to get the edge."
Even after eight weeks of solidifying a reputation as one of the game's hardest-hitting linebackers, he doesn't feel the need to rest his body. It's just not for him.
"Honestly, this the best I ever felt in my life," he said. "I feel like I'm 18 . . . I feel great, man. Seriously. I'm a physical guy but I'm a big boneded guy, I don't really feel none of it. It's the bye, I'm gonna enjoy it, but at the same time, I'm trying to get better."
Spikes has been one of the handful of pleasant surprises on the Patriots defense this season. He's been an active presence in the middle of the field, on pace for his first 100-tackle season as a pro. He's forced three fumbles, recorded one sack, and his pass defense seems to be improving slowly but surely.
With his help, the Patriots have the eighth-best run defense in the league, allowing 88.6 yards per game. They are also tied with the Dolphins for first in the league allowing just 3.5 yards per carry.
Easy to see why Spikes wants to keep rolling.
"I think we got a ways to go," he said. "It's like a roller coaster. I'm like a professional, I want to play well every game. If we can just stay on point and just keep trying to attack and get better each week, I think we have a chance to be good."