The Patriots are planning to heighten the nasty factor on defense this season.

With linebacker Brandon Spikes and safety Adrian Wilson over the middle the Pats have a tandem of bash brothers who could invent methods of time travel. More specifically they’re hoping to hit opposing receivers into next week.

“It’s just a factor you’ve got to think about before you call that play across the middle” Spikes said. “You’ve got guys in there that are trying to make a statement trying to set the tone. I’m pretty sure (offensive) coordinators will think twice before they call something.”

The art of intimidation is as old as the game though restrictions on hits against defenseless receivers have taken some of the fear out of the league. But Spikes is a throwback who lives to pay homage to the likes of Dick Butkus Lawrence Taylor and Pepper Johnson who is the Patriots linebackers coach. And the 33-year-old Wilson is one of the few remaining players who was around when defensive players could still get physical with receivers.

Wilson who was dubbed “The Incredible Hulk” by cornerback Marquice Cole and the rest of his Patriots teammates is an imposing 6-foot-3 230-pounder with the type of frame that really sticks out in the secondary.

When Wilson was asked if he likes to mix it up and create a little noise by laying out an opponent he blankly replied with a hint of intimidation in his tone “That’s what football is. That’s what defensive football is.”

Wilson made a career out of it with the Arizona Cardinals registering 16 forced fumbles eight fumble recoveries 27 interceptions and 251⁄2 sacks in his first 12 NFL seasons. His most disruptive years came from 2003-06 when he forced at least two fumbles per season but Wilson has the chance to raise the Patriots’ intensity in 2013.

Steve Gregory and Wilson are in a battle for the starting position next to Devin McCourty but regardless of the victor Wilson will surely get enough playing time to make a difference.
Spikes is thrilled to add a player of that caliber to the unit.