New England ended the regular season on a sour note, but Kyle Van Noy still has big goals in mind for the Patriots.
While there’s obviously no shame in aiming high, Nick Wright was a bit taken aback by Van Noy’s forward-thinking.
Van Noy on Monday noted the Patriots have a chance to stage a “revenge tour” beginning Saturday when they host the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card round. For Wright, these remarks came off as the antithesis of the usual mindset inside the walls of Gillette Stadium.
“Kyle Van Noy’s been with the Patriots for a little bit of time now. He knows the Patriot Way and the Patriot mantra, and that is a very un-Patriot quote,” Wright said Tuesday on FS1’s “First Things First. “Talking about not just the game on Saturday, but the potential opponents thereafter. Talking about the bigger picture, talking about the opportunity in front of us as far as what we could do this weekend and next weekend and the weekend after. That is nothing we ever hear from the Patriots when they are on message and fully operational. Kyle Van Noy, I think, is straying from that a bit because the team right now is in very unfamiliar territory because they never lose a game the way they lost on Sunday. They never go through a stretch where at the end of a season they lose as many as they win, losing four of eight. Kyle Van Noy, all of a sudden, is reaching for things that you hear other teams that have less confidence (say). Like, ‘Well, it’s an opportunity for us to avenge these losses we’ve had throughout the year.’ It was just a surprising quote. For 31 locker rooms that wouldn’t have been a surprising quote. For a veteran for the New England Patriots, that was a surprising quote, to me.”
"Kyle Van Noy knows the Patriot way & the Patriot mantra. That's a very un-Patriot quote ? talking about not just the game on Saturday but the potential opponents thereafter. Kyle Van Noy is straying from that a bit bc the team is in very unfamiliar territory." ? @getnickwright pic.twitter.com/EhnBCKPsiF
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) December 31, 2019
Wright might be reaching here. While Patriots players and coaches alike try to act like they don’t hear the outside noise, it’s been made clear the organization uses its naysayers as fuel. New England fully embraced the underdog mentality last season when it staged an impressive playoff run culminating with a Super Bowl LIII win. In the case of Van Noy, the veteran linebacker very well could be offering a rallying cry that he knows will amp up his teammates.
Either way, it’s safe to say Van Noy and Co. have their work cut out for them if they plan to complete this revenge tour.