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Camp brings relief to Brandon Spikes


Elise Amendola / Associated Press / File 2012


FOXBOROUGH -- Like many of his teammates, Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes offered little on the first day of training camp when asked about former tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is facing first-degree murder charges.

“I can’t really comment on that, guys,” said Spikes, who was teammates with Hernandez in college (at Florida) and also the NFL.

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How about his initial reaction to the news?

“Can’t comment on that.”

When it came to football, though, Spikes was enthusiastically chatty. The fourth-year pro was the only healthy Patriots player under contract who skipped the team’s voluntary offseason workouts – he opted to remain in Florida, where he adhered to his own personal offseason program – and seemed thrilled to be back on the field.

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“I feel great, the guys are running around again, smelling pads, it feels good to be back, so I’m looking forward to these young guys learning the defense, trying to make some plays for us,” Spikes said. “Hopefully we have a great season.”

Last season ended with a home loss to the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game, and the offseason has been anything but tranquil. The start of camp, at least to Spikes, comes as a relief.

“I think so, definitely,” he said. “Last year we came up short. Obviously this year we get to rebuild, fix some things we struggled in last year. Hopefully we can just come out, execute the ‘D,’ and do the things we did good last year.”

What’s he most looking forward to doing with the opening of camp? Hitting, of course.

“I look forward to putting the pads on, hit a couple guys, welcome to the NFL, that’s what I look forward to,” Spikes said. “Monday, I think we put the pads on, so we’ll see how it goes.”

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