Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

Bill Belichick has tremendous praise for Kyle Van Noy

Ryan Hannable
October 26, 2018 - 1:40 pm
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FOXBORO -- Thursday was the two-year anniversary of Kyle Van Noy being traded to the Patriots, and the linebacker spoke of how the trade saved his career.

On Friday, Bill Belichick had tremendous praise for the linebacker when discussing how much he's grown since joining the team at the 2016 trade deadline.

"Kyle has turned out to be very versatile and very good at many things we’ve asked him to do, from the kicking game, to playing on the line of scrimmage, to playing off the line of scrimmage, to blitzing, to playing man coverage, zone coverage – so, multiple things," Belichick said. "So, we didn’t know that. Some of it was kind of a step-by-step process. A couple times we were forced into a situation because he is big, he is athletic, he is smart, he does have good football instincts, so a lot of times he just does the right thing on something that maybe we haven’t gone over or hasn’t specifically been covered. He just does what he thinks is right in that situation, like [Patrick] Chung would do, like [Devin] McCourty would do. Like a lot of good football players, they just know what to do. And I would say he’s one of those – Hightower, those guys – sometimes they get in a situation that we haven’t really covered this, and they just do the right thing because they’re just good, instinctive players.

"So, Kyle’s shown to be all that, plus he’s given us good depth in the kicking game. Again, not that he’s out there for every play in the kicking game, but he’s responsible for a lot of things, so if something happened and we needed him, he would be ready to go. And that’s, when you’re a head coach or a special teams coach, that’s a comforting feeling. Even though the guy’s not out there for 30 plays in the kicking game, the fact that you know you have somebody dependable to put in that spot if it comes up is a lot better than having to worry about 66 spots and if one thing happens, like ‘oh my god, what are going to do?’

"You need players like Kyle and Pat, Hightower, James White, guys like that, Dwayne Allen, [Chris] Hogan, that can just step in there and do it. So yeah, we talked about it yesterday. It’s seems like it’s gone fast and he’s played here 10 years. But, yeah, he’s certainly been in a lot of roles for us, done them well and has given us great communication and leadership on and off the field."

The Patriots didn't even need to give up much to acquire him, as they traded away a sixth-round pick and got back Van Noy and a seventh-rounder from Detroit.

Related: Rob Gronkowski present at practice Friday

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