All it took to see the chip Kyle Van Noy says he’s carrying around on his shoulder was for someone to ask him about his relationship with Miami Dolphins head coach (and Van Noy’s old Patriots position coach) Brian Flores following his release from Miami.
“No comment,” he replied.
That might be part of the reason Van Noy says it didn’t take much recruiting to get him to re-sign with New England in free agency, beginning his second stint with the team on a two-year deal.
On the other hand, Van Noy was all too pleased to be asked to return to New England by Bill Belichick, “one of the greatest, if not the greatest coach in the game.”
“I think it starts from the head man, and I think he knows what he wants and he knows how to get the pieces he wants and puts it together,” Van Noy said of the long-time coach. “I think as players, we’ve just got to come together as quickly as possible and have one goal in mind. And I think everybody’s got that right now. I can just tell you from speaking to some of the players, how hungry and excited they are.”
The former linebacker returns to a defensive unit that includes some old friends like Jason and Devin McCourty and Donte’ Hightower, whom he says he talks to “every day.” With the band back together, Van Noy says the Patriots have the pieces to be a top-five unit in the NFL.
Van Noy also knows he’ll need to smooth things over with a few members of his old squad — specifically, quarterback Cam Newton — after things got chippy between New England and Miami last year.
“I feel like me and Cam have similar mindsets and that’s to win. I’m excited to work with him,” said Van Noy, downplaying his past altercations with Newton. “I’ve heard nothing but good things. I think everybody is going to be excited after hopefully we have dinner — I’ll pay for it — and just get to know each other better. I think it’s a good rivalry. Everybody knows everybody. People have played on both sides. So it’s going to be good.”
For his part, the veteran linebacker doesn’t think it will be hard to move forward after last year’s confrontations, saying trash talk is “part of football.”
“I think everybody blows it out of proportion when there’s trash-talking in football,” he went on. “It’s part of the game. Some players are better than others. Some have terrible jokes, some have good ones. Some can get under skin, some can’t…I don’t think anyone takes it personal. If they do, that’s their deal.”
As for his beef with his old team, he said “we’ll see” how much it motivates him when the two squads meet in 2021 before adding: “I know everything they do down there. It’s going to be good.”
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