INDIANAPOLIS Brandon Spikes plays at the edge of appropriateness.
Its been a habit of his since Florida where he once served a suspension for eye-gouging a University of Georgia running back.
In the AFC Championship against the Ravens, the second-year linebacker got into it a couple of times with Ravens lineman Marshal Yanda. The second dustup started when Spikes pushed Yanda from behind after the whistle. When Yanda retaliated, Spikes faked a heart attack (another longtime ploy the linebackers cultivated).
On Thursday, after Spikes finished replying to a question with the words Release the beast I asked him if he recalled the issues with Yanda.
Who? he asked. After a few more clues, Spikes said, Oh, the lineman. I dont know names, just numbers.
Asked if he will be able to keep his temper under wraps on Sunday, Spikes said, Absolutely. But Im gonna do business as business is being done. Im pretty sure tempersll be flaring out there. Guys are gonna be riled up, its a big stage. Its gonna be fun, man. Im just bringing everything I got and playing every play like its my last.
Given the way hes courted personal foul penalties this season with after-the-whistle stupidity, Spikes doesnt seem to have an appreciation for the damage a 15-yarder in a game of this magnitude can cause.
And, to hear him tell it, the Patriots coaches didn't bring up the Yanda foolishness either.
"Not that I remember, no," Spikes said when asked if he'd been spoken with. "Did(the officials)throw a flag? No? Well then thats just how the games played."
Perhaps. But it isn't normally played that way after you get tagged a time of two. And Spikes would be smart to think twice before getting involved in any message-sending on Sunday.