Kyle Van Noy has become a household name with the Patriots, but ironically enough, the veteran linebacker initially wasn’t thrilled about relocating to New England.
The Patriots acquired Van Noy — a 2014 second-round pick — in late October of 2016 via trade with the Detroit Lions. The deal proved to be one of the biggest fleecings in the Bill Belichick era, as New England shipped a mere sixth-round pick to Detroit in exchange for a key member of its defense who played a major part in three Super Bowl runs.
It took some time for Van Noy to come around on his new team, however. The 28-year-old at the time felt he was finally rounding into form in Detroit and didn’t see an opportunity for growth in Foxboro.
“I was pissed,” Van Noy told Kristine Leahy in a recent episode of FS1’s “Fair Game.” “I was mad because I felt like finally I’d got a breakthrough. I’d been injured early in Detroit. I’m finally starting. I had my chance. I was doing good things. I wasn’t doing amazing, but I felt like I was progressing and then I got traded to a team that had, you know, at the time, (Rob) Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Jamie Collins, (Dont’a) Hightower, Shea McClellin. Where am I going to fit? I felt like I was going back to the bench and I worked so hard to get healthy and finally be a starter in the NFL. But things didn’t work out there (Detroit) and it ended up being a huge blessing. Thank the man upstairs for making that happen.”
But once Van Noy carved out his role with the Patriots, he never looked back.
“I think after the first month because the first month I was at the stadium from 6 til 10 at night,” Van Noy said. “And then when I learned the playbook and I began making plays and, you know, getting to know guys on the team and showing that I could help, I think that was when it started like, ‘OK, this is where I’m supposed to be. I like it here.’ It’s business, it’s football and we win. That makes everything right.”
Van Noy will look to help the Patriots make a fourth consecutive trip to the Super Bowl in the upcoming season. And should the sixth-year ‘backer continue on his upward trajectory, he could be in store for a nice payday next March when he hits the open market.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images