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Kyle Van Noy says Patriots have turned the page on Super Bowl victory

Kyle Van Noy took in a Celtics-Lakers game in February, but he has also spent the offseason working hard toward 2019.
Kyle Van Noy took in a Celtics-Lakers game in February, but he has also spent the offseason working hard toward 2019. file/john tlumacki/Globe staff/Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — Kyle Van Noy has become an expert at turning the page. He’s pretty good at flipping the script, too.

The Patriots linebacker, who has been to three straight Super Bowls and won a pair, acknowledged Tuesday that although it felt “hella good” after beating the Rams for the title in February, his team has already moved on in its mission to get back to the top of the mountain.

“I want to win again. Can’t be satisfied. We’re definitely not satisfied,’’ he said. “If you saw how we’re working right now, you’d be pretty impressed with the grit and tenacity we’re showing in the offseason workouts already.’’


During his 2½-year run in New England, Van Noy has developed into a versatile and valuable player who has been able to handle a boatload of responsibilities in Bill Belichick’s defense. Van Noy can rush the passer, stand tall against the run, and drop into coverage. He scored a pair of touchdowns last season, one on a blocked punt recovery and one on a fumble recovery.

His development in New England is a far cry from what he was experiencing in Detroit, where he was used sparingly after being drafted in the second round (40th overall) in 2014. Van Noy has acknowledged he had doubts about his abilities during his dark days in Detroit.

“Yeah, of course — there were a lot of times,’’ he said. “I think when you [come from] a situation where you’re labeled a bust or things weren’t working out [and] just wasn’t clicking, you start to question your athletic ability and just life in general. ‘Am I doing everything right?’ I think to stay positive keep the people — your family and friends that are always encouraging — close. Just try to grind through it. That’s what I tried to do. Now, it’s paid off and hopefully will continue to pay off.’’


Van Noy is another example of Belichick and his staff identifying a player they believed could thrive in their system no matter what their production was like in previous stops (think Mike Vrabel and Rob Ninkovich among others). Van Noy was acquired along with a seventh-round pick for a sixth-round selection.

Despite his Lions struggles, Van Noy said he grew from his two-plus years there.

“I think [going through] those low times, I’ll never take these times for granted,’’ he said. “I never had to struggle necessarily with athletics. I’ve been the best player at whatever sport I’ve played. And to have the struggles that I did in Detroit, I learned a lot. I learned a lot of good things and bad things and how to deal with it. I was able to [get] here and put things together and have teammates and coaches trust me.’’

OL Veldheer signed

The Patriots are signing an important insurance piece for their offensive line, agreeing to a one-year, $6.5 million maximum deal with veteran offensive lineman Jared Veldheer, a league source confirmed to the Globe.

The deal has a base value of $3.5 million ($1.25 million fully guaranteed), and Veldheer can earn $3 million in playing-time incentives.

Veldheer, 31, is a nine-year veteran with stints in Oakland, Arizona, and Denver, and provides key depth at both tackle spots after left tackle Trent Brown departed in free agency. Veldheer will likely push Isaiah Wynn, last year’s first-round pick, for the starting left tackle job, or would be the first backup for Wynn and right tackle Marcus Cannon.


The Patriots have Wynn ready to step in at left tackle, but Wynn missed his entire rookie season because of a torn Achilles’ tendon, and has yet to play an NFL snap.

Veldheer, a massive tackle listed at 6 feet 8 inches and 321 pounds, has started 113 games in nine seasons, with experience on both sides of the line. He played left tackle early in his career for the Raiders and Cardinals, and last year started 12 games at right tackle for the Broncos.

The Patriots also have third-round pick Yodny Cajuste, third-year practice squad veteran Cole Croston, and a handful of street free agents and undrafted rookies at offensive tackle.

Veldheer’s deal includes a $750,000 signing bonus, $1.5 million base salary ($500,000 fully guaranteed), $1.25 million in per-game roster bonuses, and $3 million in playing-time incentives ($750,000 each for 66 percent, 70 percent, 80 percent, and 85 percent of snaps).

Veldheer’s salary cap number will be $3.5 million. All of his incentives are considered “not likely to be earned” for cap reasons, since he played in 65.55 percent of snaps last year.

Veldheer visited Foxborough last week, but the Patriots are holding off on signing him until Wednesday, as it is the first day that veteran free agent signings no longer count toward the NFL’s compensatory pick formula.

The Patriots are expected to pick up two extra third-round picks next year for losing Brown and Trey Flowers in free agency.


Moving forward

There was a time last season when Rex Burkhead was an afterthought — then he turned on the afterburners.

Burkhead missed a chunk of the regular season after suffering a neck injury in Week 3. He returned in Week 12 but really took off in the postseason. Burkhead scored a touchdown against the Chargers in the divisional round and added two more — including the winner in overtime against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game. His late 26-yard run against the Rams helped seal the Super Bowl LIII win.

“It was great. It was a fun season,’’ Burkhead said. “To finish off the way we did it was definitely memorable and something I will never forget.’’

That was about as much reminiscing as the tailback wanted to do.

“It’s a new season now. Our goal is to get back there and get in that position again,” he said. “We have a long way to go [and] have a lot of work to put in.’’

Burkhead, who has dealt with his share of injuries in his career, said he has incorporated some yoga and pilates into his regimen.

“I do a little bit to mix it up to always try and keep your body guessing, make sure your flexibility is on point because I feel like that helps prevent injuries,’’ he said.

Eyeing the market

Two of the biggest names (literally and figuratively) still on the market as the next wave of free agency begins Wednesday include receiver Rishard Matthews, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and defensive end Ziggy Ansah. Van Noy, who was Ansah’s roommate at Brigham Young and teammate in Detroit, said the two keep in contact regularly but denied there was any recruitment going on. “That would be tampering,’’ he said through laughter. It actually wouldn’t be because Ansah can sign with anyone . . . The Patriots roster is at 90 (tight end Jakob Johnson doesn’t count as an international player), so any signings would need to include a corresponding cut.


Ben Volin of the Globe staff contributed. Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.