Dont’a Hightower given new nickname by Kyle Van Noy
Fresh off receiving Super Bowl championship rings, Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy decreed that his teammate Dont’a Hightower should have a new nickname.
The emergence of Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy over the past couple seasons has been one of the better storylines in New England. The former Detroit Lion has positively rejuvenated his career under Bill Belichick’s tutelage, and he’s now an important piece in a Pats defense that just set records in last February’s Super Bowl win – and could be even better this coming season.
As good as Van Noy has been though, even he knows who the true heart, soul, and sometime savior is of this Patriots defense: none other than Dont’a Hightower.
Hightower has spent his entire seven-year career in New England with the team that drafted him, and over that timespan, he’s established himself as one of the clear-cut standouts at the outside linebacker position in the NFL. Perhaps more importantly, he’s served as the lynchpin to the Patriots’ defense in their past three championship victories… and that clutch gene is now being recognized and rewarded with a catchy new moniker, courtesy of Van Noy himself.
Van Noy tweeted that Hightower’s new nickname should be “Mr February” from now on, owing to his teammate’s propensity for coming up huge when his team needs him most – aka in the Super Bowl.
Hightower memorably made the shoestring tackle on then-Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch at the one-yard line in Super Bowl XLIX, which of course set up the infamous play when Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson to seal the Patriots’ fourth championship. Two years later, he strip-sacked Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan… a play that served as the catalyst for New England’s improbable 25-point comeback in Super Bowl LI.
While the 2019 Patriots definitely have some questions along the defensive line up front, their depth and talent in the middle at linebacker and then on the back-end in the secondary could be tops in the league when all is said and done.