Kyle Van Noy clearly was miffed after being released by the Dolphins, and rightfully so. The veteran linebacker was signed to a four year deal, named a team captain and ultimately played well, yet was let go after just one season in Miami.
And, considering Van Noy’s outspoken nature, you might think he’d veer (slightly) from the Patriot Way and take a shot at his former team before New England and the Dolphins square off Sunday afternoon.
Well, you’d be wrong. Van Noy, who rejoined the Patriots during the offseason, walked the straight line Wednesday morning while speaking with reporters.
On preparing to play against his former team: “Just focusing on doing my part, preparing right. What I need to do to help. Asking all the questions I need to ask to get ready and get in that mindset of playing an opponent. … I’m happy to know (Miami) a little better since I was there. … I’m excited for the opportunity to play.”
On the return of fans to Gillette Stadium for a regular season game: “We’re excited to play in front of a packed house. We’re excited to play an AFC East opponent that’s really good. We’re just excited for the challenge.”
On whether having played for the Dolphins gives him an advantage this weekend: “I don’t know if it’s that much, just because I think it’s more of, I’m focused on getting up to speed, come back here and trying to do everything I can to get back in the mindset of different position, different calls, things like that.”
Yeah, that’s a lot of Patriots-speak.
Finally, on defending Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Van Noy added: “I think his growth in one year is a lot. … Really good football player.”
Ultimately, Van Noy handled himself well. Offering an opponent bulletin board material in his first game back with the Patriots would not have been a wise move.
He and his teammates will kick off with the Dolphins at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday.