Kyle Van Noy spent the first two-plus seasons of his career with Detroit before getting traded to the New England Patriots in October. That’s when he met Tom Brady, a guy he grew up watching.
Van Noy, 25, was impressed with Brady, 39, almost immediately.
“You can’t hate him,” the Patriots defensive lineman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Everyone hates him, but then you meet him and – oh, man – he’s such a nice guy. He does everything right. The first day I was there, he came up to me and introduced myself. You know how it is in a locker room. A lot of guys are just on their (electronics), but he took the time out of his day to come in and introduce himself, which just speaks volumes of his character and who he is. But he’s a competitor. He didn’t waste any time trying to go at me on the practice field.”
Brady burned Van Noy while the BYU product was defending James White.
“I’ll never forget it,” Van Noy said. “He threw a wheel route and it went right by my hemet. It was perfect coverage. I just tried to hit the ball out of James’ (hands), and I turned around, like, ‘How the hell did he get that ball in?’ And he just smiled and started bobbing his head, like, ‘Yup, you’re new.’ It’s just remarkable how hard he works, his professionalism every day. He’s just a great guy.
Van Noy said that Brady gave a poignant pregame speech before Super Bowl LI.
“Man, it was powerful,” Van Noy said. “I’ll never forget it. I’ll cherish that moment because it was pretty legit what he was saying.”
Brandon Tierney, though, wondered just how effective the speech was. After all, the Patriots trailed 28-3 in the third quarter.
“Obviously it worked,” Van Noy said. “We came back and won it.”
Van Noy was also impressed with Bill Belichick this season.
“You knew he knew football, but you don’t know until you’re around him,” Van Noy said. “The different schemes and the different knowledge of the game that he teaches – I learned something new every day when I’m in the team meeting and he’s up there and he’s coaching. It’s pretty interesting what he sees, the different nuances of the game. It’s an honor to play for a coach like that and a DC like Matt Patricia as well. They know football, and it’s exciting to play for people that are passionate and that win. I’m just grateful to be a part of the culture and win some football games.”
Van Noy certainly had fun during the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade Tuesday. It was Van Noy’s first parade, and he hopes there are many more in his future.
“Man, I’m still speechless,” he said. “There’s so many fans. I can’t describe (it). The city of Boston was filled on a Tuesday, where people took off in the cold snow just to come yell at us and celebrate with us. Seeing them dance with us, it was an awesome experience. It will be unforgettable. I’m speechless. It was just awesome. I’m really grateful for the chance to party with everybody. We did have a good time. It meant a lot to me to be able to be a part of it, and it was a party. Whatever Gronk was doing, that’s what it was like.”
Van Noy was also asked about Roger Goodell, who was booed mercilessly when presenting Robert Kraft with the Lombardi Trophy. Van Noy, however, said the Patriots weren’t focused on Goodell this season.
“Honestly, we didn’t even talk about it,” Van Noy said. “Think about it: To us, it’s our job. We do what we do. We’re not worried about him.”
The Patriots also aren’t worried about naysayers who claim they only won Super Bowl LI because Atlanta choked.
“We’re going to hear that the Falcons didn’t run the ball and they gave it away,” Van Noy said. “No, they were tired and we took it. That’s how we feel about it.”