Kyle Van Noy understands that when he makes a public appearance in New England, his audience usually wants to know about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick more than they do about him.

The 28-year-old outside linebacker out of Brigham Young University is fully understanding. He has won just two Super Bowls in his three seasons with the New England Patriots while the team’s legendary quarterback and head coach have combined to win six Lombardi trophies.

“I’ve got plenty of stories for both of them,” Van Noy told a gathering of fans hosted by Townsquare Media on Tuesday night at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer. “We could be here all night talking about them, that’s for sure, but I’m happy to do it. They’ve earned it. Tom’s played forever and Bill’s coached forever and they’ve been the best at what they’ve done so I’m happy to do it.”

But Van Noy, a second-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 2014 who was traded to the Patriots midway through the 2017 season, also shared insights about his commitment to the reigning National Football League dynasty and what has set it apart from the other 31 teams.

“It’s hard but it’s rewarding,” he said. “You sacrifice a lot of family time and different things like that to the game. You’ve got to love football and if you do so like I love football it’s OK. You get used to it, and winning cures all.”

Van Noy is coming off his best season in 2018 when he had 36 quarterback pressures and 34 run stops while seeing more playing time than any other Patriots linebacker.

He performed even better during the team’s postseason run. He posted 10 tackles, including two quarterback sacks, and a forced fumble in New England’s 37-31 overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game. He followed that up with three tackles (1 sack) and five quarterback pressures during the team’s 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

That the Patriots came up so big defensively against the Rams came as no surprise to Van Noy, particularly given how they had played a year earlier in their 41-33 loss Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles — an offensive shootout in which the teams combined for 1,151 yards.

“There’s no one harder on each other than we are,” Van Noy said. “It’s even crazier when you get into a room the next year like we did, and I knew everybody was hungry because we lost that game and the way we lost it. It sucked, so when we got to the Super Bowl against the Rams I already knew what was going to happen because of the mindset the defenders had going into that game.

“We were not about to let that happen again.”

Van Noy and the other veterans on the Patriots’ roster are scheduled to report to training camp for the 2019 season on July 24. And while Van Noy was a bit weary Tuesday night after a cross-country trip to Maine from his California home, talk of the upcoming season briefly swept the fatigue away.

“I think us turning the page and focusing on this next season, we’re excited about it,” he said. “We’ve got a really good group. We’re returning a lot of guys, we’ve also lost a lot of guys, but we’re confident with the group we have.

“The core is still there and we’re excited for the future. There’s going to be a lot of young players that are going to be good and the old players are going to step their games up — like myself.”

Avatar photo

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...