FOXBORO -- Brandon Spikes, who took a pass on all the Patriots offseason conditioning and team activities this spring, was at minicamp on Tuesday.
The obvious question for the fourth-year linebacker: Why stay away when the rest of the team was, for most of the activities, at the stadium working out together.
“I felt like I was putting myself in the best position to compete for a spot on this team and also help this team win a championship,” Spikes said when asked about training in Florida instead of Massachusetts. “You guys know me, I frequently do things that are different from everybody else. I don’t think that’s bad or a shocker. And honestly if everyone in this world was a conformist it would be a boring place.”
How, I asked Spikes, can a player get better and compete for a spot on the team when the team is meeting en masse 1,000 miles away? Was he concerned he was missing anything?
“I stayed in contact with some guys here making sure things weren’t changing in the meeting room and stuff like that,” Spikes offered. “I just wanted to stay on top of my game and whatever, I felt like being somewhere else and being on my own I normally do better.”
Spikes’ explanation didn’t sound too convincing. But that’s irrelevant now. The Patriots might give Spikes’ would-be successors every chance to make Spikes obsolete but Spikes may be too talented to unseat. Yet.
As he enters the final year of his rookie contract, it’s become clear Patriots and Spikes have conflicting approaches to NFL life. And unless there’s an unforeseen deviation in the way either does their work, it’s not a stretch to think that this will be the last time Spikes will stand at a Patriots minicamp and be asked about skipping offseason workouts.