Camp Spotlight: Linebacker Kyle Van Noy

Posted Aug 4, 2016

Tim Twentyman tracks the performance of linebacker Kyle Van Noy during Day 6 of training camp practice.


Position: SAM linebacker

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 248

College: BYU

Experience: 3rd season

Outlook: Van Noy has enjoyed a surgery-free offseason for the first time as a professional. It allowed him to enter the offseason training program, and subsequently training camp, in the best shape of his career.

This is a big season for Van Noy, who was a second-round draft pick in 2014. Can he can make an impact on defense and be a valuable piece in Teryl Austin’s defense?

He entered training camp as the starter at SAM linebacker in Detroit's base 4-3 defense, which the team is in probably 40 percent of the time.

Van Noy has the physical tools to play the position. Both head coach Jim Caldwell and Austin said he’s done a good job so far training his eyes and being in the right spots.

It’s now up to him to make plays in the preseason and secure the starting spot for good entering year three.

Practice report: Van Noy continues to get first-team reps at the SAM linebacker spot. He’s all over the place in terms of on the line of scrimmage one play, blitzing on another or playing five yards off the line in a traditional linebacker set.

Even though Van Noy is the first linebacker off the field when the defense goes to their sub package, he gets a ton of reps in practice in 7-on-7 and other passing drills. That’s an area of his game he’s no-doubt working to fine tune.

He gave up a three-yard touchdown in 7-on-7 drills to tight end Matthew Mulligan on an out route. Other than that, there were a few short passes caught in front of him, but nothing of the explosive variety.

One thing Van Noy does pretty well in pass defense is jam at the line of scrimmage. He threw tight end Eric Ebron right off a route in 7-on-7’s with a terrific jam to the chest.

Quotable: “It’s no secret this is a make-it or break-it year for myself,” Van Noy said. “But it creates competition at every spot. You have to enjoy competition. It’s what the NFL is all about. If you shy away from it then I don’t think you’re ready for the job. If I do my job, it’ll fall into place."