Kyle Van Noy Boldly Proclaims Patriots Have ‘Elite’ Linebacker Depth


Aug 5, 2019

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — New England Patriots coaches have some difficult decisions to make in the future, not only about which linebackers to cut from their 90-man roster but also who to play on any given snap.

The Patriots appear to be moving from a four-man front to a three-man front in 2019. That change necessitates more linebackers, which is an area where the Patriots have tremendous depth. Kyle Van Noy would use a different word to describe it.

“Oh, elite,” Van Noy said. “Elite. I think it’s very elite. I’m very excited to let loose and see what we all can do together. I’m really excited for it, as some people have knocked us. We’re slow and all that. I’m excited to come out and play.”

Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower are locked in as projected starters. The Patriots will have to decide if they’ll be joined by second-year pro Ja’Whaun Bentley, veteran Jamie Collins and/or Elandon Roberts. The Patriots also have Trent Harris, Derek Rivers, John Simon, Chase Winovich, Shilique Calhoun, Terez Hall, Brandon King, Calvin Munson and Christian Sam at the position. Rivers, Simon and Calhoun have taken starting reps in training camp.

Monday during joint practices with the Lions, Calhoun and Winovich especially shined, bringing pressure against Detroit’s offensive line.

The Patriots also have two new linebackers coaches for the 2019 season. With Brian Flores now head coach of the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots split his old linebackers coach role into two jobs. Former Patriot Jerod Mayo is inside linebackers coach, while DeMarcus Covington, who assisted Flores in 2018, is outside linebackers coach.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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