Spikes 'finally' getting consistent time

529144.jpg

Spikes 'finally' getting consistent time

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.comFOXBORO -- Until about Week 12 of last season, the arc of Brandon Spikes' young career was going up at about 90 degrees. Then a four-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance was followed by a poor performance in the playoff game against the Jets. A weird rumor about an offseason basketball injury, weird Twitter jibberish, a sudden and extended disappearance from all training camp activity and the preseason, and the arc was, shall we say, a bit less steep.
Nobody was using the word "gritty" when discussing Spikes. Spikes has re-emerged some in the past few weeks, playing about 70 percent of the defensive snaps in the Patriots' last three games. But head coach Bill Belichick passed on the opportunity to lob platitudes in Spikes' direction. "He missed so much playing time, practice time and play time during training camp and preseason so these last three weeks kind of have almost been like his preseason, unfortunately," Belichick explained. "I think that practicing on a daily basis, playing on a regular basis that thats what he needed to do. I think he still has a long way to go. Hes probably where a lot of our players were in September, just because he missed all of August."

Moving on from the missed time, Belichick was lukewarm about Spikes' on-field contributions.

"His timing, his overall reaction, his execution, all those things, theyre OK, they are coming along," Belichick said. "Id like to think theyll be better now that hes starting to get into game shape and reacting like you have to react on a football field, both mentally and physically. Hes doing some good things and hes still got a long way to go. The fact that hes been out there finally on a consistent basis to practice and play nothing has helped him more than that."

Bottom line? Spikes is playing now. But the fact that -- for a long stretch -- he didn't play or practice is not quite forgotten.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Perry: 'Not out of the realm of possibility' Amendola takes pay cut

Perry: 'Not out of the realm of possibility' Amendola takes pay cut

Phil Perry analyzes  whether Danny Amendola will take another pay cut to stay with the New England Patriots.

Darrelle Revis has court date Thursday on fight claims

Darrelle Revis has court date Thursday on fight claims

New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has a court date next week on criminal charges stemming from a fight after he turned himself in to police and was later released on a non-monetary bond.

Revis faces aggravated assault and other charges alleging he was in a fight with two men last weekend in Pittsburgh. He answered no questions from the media as he turned himself in Friday. He later made an initial court appearance, and his next court date was scheduled for Thursday.

Revis' attorney has said Revis was physically assaulted by a group of at least five people. He said Revis "feared for his safety" and sought medical attention, but he didn't offer details about the severity of Revis' injuries.

Police say the fight started when a man began recording a video of Revis and Revis grabbed his phone and tried to delete it. Two men say they were punched and knocked out.

The New York Jets said through a spokesman they would have no further comment on Revis' situation other than their initial statement that they were aware of the matter and had spoken with Revis. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to The Associated Press that the league was looking into the matter.

Attorney Blaine Jones said Saturday in a text message that while he was hired for the pre-indictment phase of the case, he would not be representing the Jets cornerback going forward.

Revis is due $15 million next season, including a $2 million roster bonus due on the second day of the new league year, March 10.

The $13 million in base salary includes $6 million in guaranteed money, which the Jets would owe him even if they decided to cut him before the deadline.

Revis had a bitter breakup with his agents last year and has no formal representation going forward.

Revis, who is from Aliquippa, was a star at the University of Pittsburgh and was drafted No. 14 overall by the Jets in 2007. He quickly established himself as one of the top players at his position - and in franchise history - while also earning the nickname, "Revis Island" for his penchant for routinely shutting down opposing teams' top receivers. He is in his second stint with the Jets.

---

For more NFL coverage:http://www.pro32.ap.org andhttp://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL