ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The bitterness Kyle Van Noy previously expressed about his 2016 trade from the Detroit Lions to the New England Patriots has been replaced Monday by an unmistakable look of satisfaction, knowing it turned out best for him.

Van Noy has appeared in three Super Bowls with the Patriots, winning two. A career that could have been a bust has blossomed in the NFL’s model organization.

Van Noy, the linebacker from Brigham Young the Lions selected in the second round in 2014, is coming off his best season. He started all 16 games and led the Patriots in tackles (92), making 3.5 sacks.

The Patriots and Van Noy are taking part in joint practices with the Lions leading up to Thursday’s preseason opener at Ford Field.

“It feels good to come back a winner and say hi to people I haven’t seen for a while,” Van Noy said. “I’m happy to get to work and hang out with my teammates and see old faces, the behind-the-scenes people that don’t get enough credit. There’s so many I could name that have been so good to me and my family that I got to show them love when I come back.”

Chances are, Van Noy won’t be showing much love to Lions General Manager Bob Quinn, who basically gave him away seven games into the 2016 season, dealing him and a seventh-round pick for a sixth-round selection.


Van Noy wasn’t a fit in the scheme former Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin ran but fits like a glove in New England.

“Kyle’s done a good job for us. He fits well into our scheme,” Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said. “The scheme that he was in before I think was maybe not as good of a fit for him, similar to when we got (Roosevelt) Colvin from the Bears. Sometimes, some players just fit into one situation and one scheme better than another.

“He’s smart, he’s very instinctive, he does a good job with communication, he can call signals. We have multiple signal-callers on our defense, and that’s a good thing that helps us with communication and adjustments. He’s made a lot of big plays for us since we got him. I’m glad we have him. He’s done a great job.”

Van Noy has started 30 of the 36 games he’s played in New England. Last year, he became the first Patriots player with two nonoffensive touchdowns in a season since 2014 (Kyle Arrington), when he returned a blocked punt 29 yards against the Chicago Bears and recovered a fumble and returned it 46 yards against the New York Jets.

Van Noy had three tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss in the Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. He was later quoted as saying he went from the “toilet bowl to the Super Bowl.”

Van Noy doesn’t want to attribute his success entirely to a different scheme, however.


“That would be like I’m only good because of a certain scheme. I’m not going to go that route,” Van Noy said. “Bill and when Matty P. was there and (Jared) Mayo (Patriots inside linebackers coach) and all these coaches I played with in New England have put me in a spot to succeed and play to my strengths. I respect that. I’m happy to be a part of it, and I’ll just leave it at that.”

Van Noy lauded Lions Coach Matt Patricia, his former defensive coordinator in New England, and quarterback Matthew Stafford.

“Detroit, they’re building something. Matty P. is running a tight ship and it’s good competition,” Van Noy said. “They have really good players. Stafford has always been good to me. I think he’s one of the most underrated, toughest players in the league. I always have respect for him and what he does. They have really good up- and-coming players. They just got to put the pieces together and I feel they’ll be really good.”

Van Noy said he has learned from QB Tom Brady how to be a competitor.

“He’s a phenomenal player. I’m excited to see what he can do at 42, shut some more people up,” Van Noy said. “Every day you got to show up at practice, no matter how hurt you are, how sick you are. Don’t matter if your feelings are hurt, you got to come out and ball.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.