The Lions are doing their level best to imitate every aspect of the Patriot Way.
But a guy they didn’t seem to have any use for has flourished since escaping Detroit and landing in New England.
Via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press, Patriots coach Bill Belichick showered linebacker Kyle Van Noy with praise after a day of joint practices with the team that traded him in 2016.
“Kyle’s done a good job for us,” Belichick said. “Kyle’s a versatile player. He fits well into our scheme. The scheme that he was in before I think was maybe not as good a fit for him, similar to when we got [linebacker Rosevelt Colvin] from the Bears. Sometimes some players fit in one situation and one scheme a little bit better than others.”
Van Noy was three seasons into his Lions career, apparently miscast, when they sent the former second-round pick to the Patriots for a seventh-round pick. Once saved, he won a couple of Super Bowls, and has become a key part of Belichick’s defense, leading them in tackles last year
“Kyle’s done a great job for us,” Belichick said. “He’s smart, he’s very instinctive, he does a good job with communication.
“He can call signals. We have multiple signal-callers on our defense, and that’s a good thing that helps with communication and adjustments. He’s made a lot of big plays for us since we got him. I’m glad we have him. He’s done a great job.”
As Belichick noted, he’s not the first player to perform better on a good team than a bad one. And perhaps when Van Noy hits free agency next year, the Lions can overspend for him — the way they did for former Patriot Trey Flowers.