Kyle Van Noy is ready to quell the trash-talking storm.
Things got a little heated on the field between the Patriots and Dolphins last season when Van Noy, then a Miami linebacker and captain, had words with Cam Newton during the Patriots’ Week 1 win at Gillette Stadium.
There was a little more when the Dolphins returned the favor in December in Miami, when Van Noy told Sports Illustrated, “I think the honeymoon’s over,’’ between Newton and the Patriots.
Van Noy is now back with the Patriots, and he said Wednesday he’s looking forward to breaking bread and joining forces with Newton.
“I want to talk to Cam,” Van Noy said via video conference. “I feel like me and Cam have a similar mind-set, 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. And you know, I think it’s a good rivalry. It’s we know them, everybody knows everybody, people play it on both sides. So, it’s going to be good.”
Van Noy said trash talk is just par for the NFL course, particularly when division rivals and/or ex-teammates meet up. Familiarity, after all, does breed contempt.
“I think everybody blows it out of proportion when there’s trash talking in football,” he said. “It’s part of the game. Some players are better than others. Some have terrible jokes and some have good ones. Some can get under your skin, some can’t. It’s part of the game. I don’t think anyone takes it personal. If they do, that’s their deal.”
Van Noy was released this month, just one year into his four-year, $51 million deal with the Dolphins. Though he had other suitors, the pull to return to play for Bill Belichick in New England was too great.
“I think when you have one of the greatest, if not the greatest, coach in the game, defensive mind, pick you, I think that speaks volumes of who he thinks I am as a player, which is awesome to have someone have confidence in you and your game, and to be back and play with the fans and somewhere where I’ve started my legacy there and be able to continue it, hopefully, and do what I can on the field and off the field. I can’t ask for much more,” Van Noy said.
He added a simple, “Yeah, no comment,” when asked about Dolphins coach Brian Flores.
Raekwon McMillan said “prestige” led him to sign with the Patriots last week.
“I felt like this opportunity can’t be passed up just because of the prestige and being coached by some of the best coaches in the NFL and the opportunity that I will have to be part of something special,” the linebacker said.
Belichick told McMillan that he’s followed the linebacker throughout his career and would have liked to have drafted him in 2017, but the Patriots didn’t pick until the third round that year. The former Buckeyes star went to the Dolphins in the second.
McMillan, who described himself as a “standup linebacker that can make plays sideline to sideline,” is joining a group that includes Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower, Matt Judon, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Josh Uche, and Anfernee Jennings.
“I think the room is going to be very special,” said McMillan. “[There’s] going to be a lot of opportunity, but at the same time a lot of competition to get out there and stay out there on the field. So, just knowing who I’m coming in there with, it can’t do anything but help my game because I have to push myself to another level to actually be out there.”
Trent Brown revealed Wednesday that “nothing has gone right for me” since he left the Patriots after the 2018 season, and the offensive tackle is thrilled to be back in New England, his happy place.
“When I became a Patriot — I’ve always loved football, but I think I began to appreciate what it takes . . . like the actual time and effort and sacrifices you have to make,” he said. “And really, it was fun for me. Some people don’t like it, but I loved it, honestly. I just think it’s where I need to be. I’m happy. I’m happy with the organization. I was happiest when I was here. I’ve never had more fun playing football in my life.”
Brown, who played left tackle in his previous time in New England, said he’s open to playing left or right tackle because he feels he’s “the best” at either spot. Brown, who said he’s already at his expected playing weight of 380 pounds, also said he feels healthy after dealing with nagging injuries the past two seasons with the Raiders.
Davon Godchaux said he’s ready to be the “dog in the middle” of the Patriots’ base 3-4 defense, in the mold of Vince Wilfork. Though Godchaux said the nose tackle position is often overlooked because of the lack of “stats and accolades,” he relishes the role. “When it comes down to it in the 3-4 defense, the nose guard in my opinion is the most pivotal position because it sets everything up. The linebacker reads off that guy. You have to have somebody who’s going to take up double teams, somebody who’s going to win one-on-one blocks, somebody who you just can’t deal with” … Judon said he was at Disney World for his daughter’s spring break last week while his agents hammered out his four-year, $56 million deal. He recalls the process took about three hours — also about the average wait time for the Tower of Terror. “Life-changing decisions happen fast,’’ he said … The Patriots added to their free agent bounty by signing LaRoy Reynolds. The veteran special teamer posted a shot of himself signing his contract on Instagram. The Patriots will be his sixth team.