Kyle Van Noy may disagree, but Dolphins still reek of Patriots

Former New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy, now with the division rival Miami Dolphins, wants to squash connections between teams.

Kyle Van Noy has always enjoyed speaking his mind. And from 2016 through 2019, New England Patriots fans got to enjoy him representing the team often in the media and through interviews on television and sports talk programs.

After rejuvenating his career under Bill Belichick, the versatile linebacker signed a lucrative four-year, $51 million contract with the Miami Dolphins this past spring in free agency. He now goes from playing against the Dolphins twice per year to playing against his former team in the Patriots twice per year.

Miami is an interesting team these days. Along with Tennessee, Detroit, Houston, and New York (Giants), there are major ties linking the Dolphins to the Patriots in terms of coaches, players, and staffers.

Most notably, Miami’s head coach Brian Flores was the one-time de facto defensive coordinator of the Patriots. Josh Boyer, George Godsey, and Mike Judge all have New England ties among Flores’ staff, and players Ted Karras, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Trent Harris, Calvin Munson, Eric Rowe, and Ken Webster all have played in Foxborough at one time or another, in addition to Van Noy.

So in other words, it’s easy to make a meaningful connection between the Patriots and the Dolphins and suggest that Flores is attempting to build something reminiscent of the dynasty and success Belichick has created in New England.

Kyle Van Noy doesn’t want anything Patriots-related said about Dolphins

Van Noy, however, does not like hearing the comparisons between these two bitter AFC East rivals now that he’s a member of the “upstart” team.

According to NBC Sports Boston’s Darren Hartwell, Van Noy was quite vocal recently in talking up the difference between the Patriots and the Dolphins today.

“I don’t know how many New England guys there are (here), but we’re going to get away from that. We’re our own team; this is not the New England Patriots. This is the Miami Dolphins. It’s totally different, and I’m excited for that. New beginnings. We’re the Miami Dolphins. We’re here to represent the people of Miami. They want it bad. I can sense that. Miami’s a football town.”

Van Noy certainly has every right to try and create some separation between the cultures and identities of the Patriots and Dolphins. He’s saying all the right things, and there’s a good chance that he speaks for what most Miami players, coaches, and fans are thinking as well.

The problem, however, is that facts are facts: the Dolphins are heavily influenced by the Patriots in 2020. There’s way no way around that truth.

That’s not to say that Flores is trying to create a carbon copy of Belichick’s “Patriot Way” down in South Beach.

But when you amass this many people in one place and all of them came from the same wellspring, it’s impossible to suggest there’s nothing tying you to that wellspring anymore — simply because you don’t want to be associated with a division rival.

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The Miami Dolphins reek of the New England Patriots. Maybe they’ll forge their own identity this season or next season or some time in the future.

But as they’re currently constructed, it’s impossible to suggest that it’s “totally different.” It may be different, sure, but the ridiculously high number of individuals on the Dolphins with Patriots ties makes it similar, too — whether you want it to be or not.