FOXBORO -- There was some irony to Brandon Spikes being asked about Tim Tebow being a distraction.
When Spikes spoke, it was after his first practice with the team. All but one of the rest of the able-bodied Patriots have been working out together since May 20. Eyebrows raised over the linebacker skipping voluntary sessions during a contract year.
Which makes the advice he'd give Tebow -- former University of Florida, current New England teammate -- so interesting.
"Just get on board," Spikes said. "Every day there's a lot of pressure once you walk in the door. But I'm pretty sure he can handle that; he was an accountable guy down in Gainsville and I'm pretty sure he'll do it again here."
As far as Spikes is concerned, it's just nice to see another Gator walk into the building.
"I was happy for him, that he got to get his job back…and come out here and compete. It's good to see him smile that big smile I [was] used to seeing the last few years down in Florida.
"I feel like he was a brother; we had a great relationship. I know he's going to come in and compete, and make me better, make other guys better."
Spikes didn't deny the media commotion caused by the quarterback. He had a close-up view when Tebow won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 as a sophomore and has watched the star rise ever since.
"He handled it well," Spikes said of all the college attention. "I think he's a great guy. And he's a winner -- that's all I pay attention to. The outside distraction stuff… that's not for me to decide.
"Honestly, I think he already has a lot on his plate, so I'm pretty sure he's going to be in his playbook for the most part."
Maybe they should study together.