|New England Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia and Kyle Van Noy (Photo Credit: Christopher Evans)|
BYU Cougars Super Bowl representative Kyle Van Noy fielded his share of questions during the Super Bowl opening night. Here are some links to read about them:
Kyle Van Noy gets pranked
Van Noy wishes Lions nothing but success
Van Noy's work to help adopted children
Van Noy calls trade to the Patriots a blessing
Matt Patricia helped save Van Noy's career
Van Noy is one of Patriots' underrated players
Naturally, the Detroit, Michigan media has continued to report on Van Noy since he was traded to the New England Patriots last season. Also concerning Detroit is the news that Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is expected to accept the Detroit Lions head coaching job following the Super Bowl. Given the connection that Van Noy has with BYU, the Lions organization, and Patricia here are some questions that I would have asked.
1. Your former BYU and Lions teammate Ezekiel Ansah will be a free agent this season. What would be your advice to him considering Patricia will probably be the head coach in Detroit next season?
Van Noy isn't the only player to leave Detroit and find greener pastures. The Lions have struggled for a very long time. That might change if Patricia brings the Patriot Way to the Motor City. For many people, Ansah getting out of Detroit was the easy, right choice. Just take the best offer from another team in free agency. If Ansah and his agent had the same feeling, then having Patricia there gives them a reason to pause and reconsider.
2. How do you expect Patricia to improve Ansah's performance?
Van Noy saw a quick improvement in his play after the trade from Detroit. It seems likely that Patricia would have the same impact on the entire Detroit defense, if not the entire team.
Unlike Van Noy, Ansah has been productive with Detroit. He had 12 sacks this season, and reached 40 sacks faster than any other player in Lions history. Ansah made the Pro Bowl after the 2015 season. How much more productive can Ansah get? Perhaps a giant leap in production won't happen, but he may become more consistent. Ansah reached his 12 sacks in 2017 by having three games with three sacks.
Health has also been a constant struggle for Ansah. He played much of 2017 injured, and has had his share of other injuries during his five-year career. Maybe Patricia will bring some new training and conditioning techniques that help to eliminate injuries.
3. You signed a contract extension with the Patriots back in September. However, if something were to happen, and the Patriots decide to part ways with you, how would Patricia being the Lions head coach influence you to return to Detroit?
For the time being, Van Noy's spot in New England looks secure. Bill Belichick's time there, however, might be coming to an end soon (i.e. retirement). The new regime might not see Van Noy as a part of their plan.
After the way Van Noy's career went in Detroit, it is hard to imagine that he would ever want to return there. Football, however, is a lot about networking. If someone as important as Patricia from Van Noy's network is in Detroit, then it could be very likely that he return there if there is no longer a roster spot for him with the Patriots.
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