Ryan: Tebow has been more accurate

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Ryan: Tebow has been more accurate

While a good chunk of the country is still questioning Tim Tebow's ability as a quarterback, the Jets' backup quarterback should be happy to know that his head coach would be completely confident if he was forced into the starter's role.

"The guy is a physical presence," Jets coach Rex Ryan said on the Dan Patrick Show Monday. "He's 250-something pounds. He's a rock back there. I think that he's throwing the ball with more accuracy -- the numbers will say that. We chart every pass and everything else. He's been more accurate. I think he's picked up the system pretty well.

"The best thing he does, one of the great things he does, he can put that ball down underneath his arm and run with it. Obviously when you don't have pads on or anything else, you don't see that yet, but that's something that he can do well."

It will be a preseason full of learning experiences for Tebow. Aside from learning a new offense, he also will have to become accustomed to being the team's personal punt protector. Ryan thinks Tebow will handle it just fine.

"It's going to be hard for teams to rush the punter when you always have that threat," Ryan said. "With Tim back there, he can throw it, he can run it. It's gonna put your antenna up there. You're not gonna be able to rush the punter the way you've done.

"You can say, 'People are gonna run him over.' That's fine. He's 255 pounds. He's going to give it out as well as he gets it."

Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language

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Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language

When Kyle Van Noy was traded to the Patriots in late October, he had a lot to learn. He needed to understand the layout of his new team's maze-like facility. He needed to adjust to a new locker room. He needed to adapt to a new home. 

He also had to become fluent in a new language.

The former Lions 'backer was inactive for two weeks before he was comfortable enough with the Patriots system -- and the coaching staff was comfortable enough with him -- to get on the field. He played 29 snaps against the Niners in first game with his new club, then saw 28 plays against the Jets. On Sunday he saw his role expand as he played 40 of a possible 51 plays, which was more than Shea McClellin (38) or Dont'a Hightower (33). 

"Kyle has done a great job of working really hard to acclimate to what we’re doing, and he has had to learn really fast as far as the system, the communication, the language," said defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on a conference call Tuesday. "It’s like when you go to a different system, offensively or defensively, a lot of times it’s just learning the vernacular and the verbiage . . . That’s a big part of it. Then getting more familiar with that kind of terminology and the communication is critical because there’s a lot of calls and adjustments, things like that that we’ve got to do on the field."

Van Noy was making some of those calls himself on Sunday as he wore the green dot on his helmet when Hightower was on the sidelines. Even with the added responsibility, Van Noy was able to play freely enough that he put together what might have been the best game of his three-year career. 

Used at the end of the line of scrimmage as well as in a more traditional off-the-line linebacker role, Van Noy was effective in defending both the pass and the run: He stuffed three Rams rush attempts, he recorded a quarterback hit that led to an incompletion, he drew a holding call, and he recorded an athletic interception when he tracked a wobbling Jared Goff pass that floated over the middle after Jabaal Sheard hit Goff's arm as the rookie released his throw.

After several of his stand-out plays, Van Noy was visibly excited on the field and later on the sidelines. It was the culmination of six weeks of work, learning as much as he could from a coaching staff that was eager to teach him. 

"He’s extremely prideful in his work and his approach to the game," Patricia said. "He’s very cerebral. He’ll ask a lot of questions. He really wants to understand what we’re doing and why, which is great. We’re trying to give him those answers and insight into kind of where some of this either came from or developed or situations like that so that’s really good."