By Tim Graham
With the young Buffalo Bills about to open the season with a rookie quarterback returning from injury, they ought to be wary of Brandon Spikes and his potentially dastardly antics.
The New England Patriots' middle linebacker is dirty and has a history against the Bills.
Spikes drew league fines each time he played the Bills last year, $21,000 for a blindside hit on tight end Scott Chandler and $25,000 for a head-to-head hit on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick that knocked off Fitzpatrick's helmet and turned into a heated altercation.
You better believe Spikes would love nothing more than to get inside rookie quarterback EJ Manuel's kitchen and rattle some pots.
"Spikes is a physical player," Wood said Wednesday at One Bills Drive. "He's kind of an old-school, thumping linebacker, not one of those hybrid guys that you might see nowadays, where maybe he was a converted safety from college. He's a true linebacker. I have a lot of respect for his game.
"That dude will take a shot on anybody if he sees a clean look. I don't think he's going to make an exception and not hit EJ if he thinks he has a shot at him."
That said, Wood noted the Patriots would try to fluster Manuel in less nefarious ways.
"They'll do that more through scheme," Wood said. "I don't think they'll risk an ejection or a big fine or something. They might. Who knows what they're thinking?
"I know personally, a rookie quarterback they generally try to do it with scheme and try to switch things up on him."
Manuel has demonstrated nerves can be an issue for him. He showed jitters in the Bills' intrasquad scrimmage. Wood laughed at how tightly wound Manuel was for his preseason debut against the Indianapolis Colts.
taggedEJ Manuel | Eric Wood | Ryan Fitzpatrick | Scott Chandler