After a year with the Miami Dolphins, Kyle Van Noy is headed back to the New England Patriots. Van Noy’s steady play and ability to rush the passer will be a much-needed addition to the Patriots’ defense.
Van Noy got to face his former-former team twice in 2020. The Patriots split those games with the Dolphins, and both were physical and somewhat testy contests. In the Week 1 opener, the Patriots and Cam Newton emerged victorious with a 21-11 victory.
Newton completed 15 of 19 passes for 155 yards, with no TDs or interceptions. He ran for 75 yards with two scores. After the game, there were a few scraps between Dolphins players and Newton. One of the Fins in Newton’s face was Van Noy.
Van Noy acknowledged some trash talk and expressed a desire to clear things up with Newton, considering they will be teammates this season.
“Of course. I want to talk to Cam,” Van Noy told NESN.com. “I feel like me and Cam have a similar mindset, and that’s to win. And I’m excited to work with him. I’ve heard nothing but good things. I think everybody’s going to be excited after hopefully we have dinner — I’ll pay for it — and just hopefully get to know each other better.”
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Newton Has a Lot to Prove
The 2015 NFL MVP had a rough year in 2020. He signed late with the team in a year with no OTAs or a training camp. He won the starting job over Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer and got the team off to a 2-1 start.
However, he got COVID-19 ahead of the Week 4 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. He missed that game and struggled to regain his footing for most of the rest of the season. Meanwhile, his and the entire team’s success was hindered by a lack of weapons on offense.
The Patriots finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
Newton has been given a ton of blame, some is unfair, but that tends to happen in professional sports.
Heading into the 2021 season, New England has two new tight ends in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Two new wide receivers in Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor and rebuilt the offensive line with the additions of Trent Brown at tackle and the return of Ted Karras. Newton should be much better in Year 2, and if he isn’t, he will deserve all the blame.
Van Noy Back to Boost a Vastly Improved Defense
As much as the Patriots have done to improve on offense, they have seemingly done just as much–if not more–on defense. Van Noy joins a linebacker group with Dont’a Hightower, Matthew Judon, and Raekwon McMillan to go with Chase Winovich, Josh Uche, Ja’Whaun Bentley, and Anfernee Jennings.
The defensive line has gotten stronger with Davon Godchaux, Henry Anderson, Lawrence Guy, Deatrich Wise Jr., and Carl Davis’s return.
There are some questions in the secondary, but mainstays like Devin McCourty figure to still produce along with J.C. Jackson, the promising Myles Bryant, Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips, and perhaps Stephon Gilmore, unless he is traded for draft picks and cap flexibility.
2021 could be a good year, making it much easier for Newton and Van Noy to have their dinner.
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