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Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy compares experience with the Lions to a toilet bowl

Kyle Van Noy

It’s normally not a positive indication of a player’s career trajectory when he’s traded just two seasons removed from being selected in the second round of the NFL draft. New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy, though, is a notable exception to that rule.

The Detroit Lions traded Van Noy to the Patriots midway through the 2016 season in exchange for a sixth-round pick. The Lions also sent a seventh-rounder back to the Patriots. But instead of wasting away as a deep reserve for New England, Van Noy quickly established himself as one of the team’s most versatile defenders, first emerging as a full-time starter in 2017, a role he’s held ever since.

After winning Super Bowl LII with the Patriots earlier this month, the 27-year-old veteran took some time to reflect on his ill-fated tenure with the Lions.

“I’m gonna repeat what my friend said so I don’t get in trouble,” Van Noy said of his time in Detroit, per Michael McMahon of NESN. “He’s like ‘You went from the toilet bowl to the Super Bowl.'”

“Then when I got there, it was like, [the Patriots] had a plan for me it seemed like,” he continued. “Then that plan got bigger with how I played. With that being said, I didn’t know that to begin with because I’d been in Detroit, where I was kind of told ‘We don’t know where to put you.’ And I’m like, ‘Why did you draft me?’ I had my own coach telling me ‘I don’t know where to put you.'”

Van Noy notched a team-leading 92 tackles for New England last season, including five that resulted in a loss. He also had three-and-a-half sacks, 10 quarterback hurries, and two fumble recoveries. Van Noy was at his best in the Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams, helping his team to another title with four tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, and game-high tying three hits of the opposing quarterback.