FOXBORO, Mass. — A costume change for Kyle Van Noy made communication difficult for the New England Patriots’ offense Wednesday morning in training camp.
Van Noy changed into a numberless blue jersey midway through Wednesday’s session, which led quarterback Tom Brady to identify Van Noy, who was the Mike linebacker, either by name or “blue jersey” rather than by number.
So, why wasn’t Van Noy wearing his usual No. 53 jersey?
“I’m too good,” Van Noy said smiling after practice. “So, the offense holds me and ripped my other jersey. They were trying to stop me, and they couldn’t, so they had to rip my jersey and hold, so I got a no jersey.”
After seeing how well Van Noy has practiced so far in training camp, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Van Noy has been especially impressive in pass coverage drills, breaking up a number of passes coming from Brady and backup QB Brian Hoyer.
“Yeah, I like talking trash to (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels), the running backs and Gronk (tight end Rob Gronkowski) all the time, so it’s fun,” Van Noy said. “Any time you can come out here and compete against Tom and that good of an offense each and every day, it gets you better and you have to be on your toes.”
Van Noy was excited to hear head coach Bill Belichick had good things to say about him earlier in the morning.
“Oh, he did?” Van Noy asked with a glimmer in his eye. “What did he say?”
“Kyle’s done a really good job for us,” Belichick said. “He’s a player that didn’t start his career here but has come in and really has understood the way that we have tried to do things. He’s embraced it. He’s become very much of a leader in, A, doing his job and doing it the right way, but also helping other guys, particularly guys that transition onto the team as he did. He has a good perspective for that.
“But, he’s been very durable, dependable, he’s a smart football player, he’s versatile. He can do a lot of different things defensively, in the running game, in the passing game and in the kicking game. So, he’s got a good skillset and is a smart player with experience and can fill a lot of different roles for us. It’s hard to find players like that. He’s been a valuable guy for us.”
Van Noy appreciated the nod but took it as a chance to admire the situation he’s been put in since being traded from the Detroit Lions midway through the 2016 season.
“Honestly, he’s a great coach and that’s a very good compliment, but I feel like we have not just me, but so many guys here that are like that,” Van Noy said. “I really feel blessed to be a part of it. …
“Words can’t express how much being here means to me and being with the players I’m with. I’m really grateful to be where I’m at and playing with the players that I have and to put that on the line for the fans, as well. We’re really blessed to be here and hopefully I show that each and every Sunday.”
Van Noy acknowledged he likes helping players who are forced to catch on quickly with the Patriots because he wasn’t accorded the same selflessness earlier in his career.
“When I was a younger guy not many people tried to help me, and I told myself I would always try to help no matter what, even if they’re going to try and take my job,” Van Noy said. “I think anytime you can help out and get on the same page, you never know, they could be playing next to you type of deal. So, you always want people to be ready, but I think everyone does that here. It’s not just myself; everyone. I was helped when I got here and I feel like I need to return the favor.”
His advice for young players is simple: “Study.”
Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN
Powered by WordPress.com VIP