Pryor and Koppen placed on injured reserve


Pryor and Koppen placed on injured reserve

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO -- The season has ended for a couple of the Patriots' trench guys.
Defensive tackle Myron Pryor and center Dan Koppen have both been placed on injured reserve, the team announced Wednesday. Pryor had an injured groin going into the Chargers game last weekend then appeared to aggravate it before halftime and did not return. However, the Patriots list Pryor as having a shoulder injury.
The third-year player was really playing well in the Patriots' defensive line rotation throughout camp and into the first game of the regular season. His ability to bring inside pressure on third downs will be missed, especially since Mike Wright has been down with a concussion. Those two are the team's best young interior rushers. The Patriots re-signed defensive tackle Landon Cohen who they released just before the season to try and mitigate the loss of the interior pass rushers. As for Koppen, we reported that the injury he suffered against Miami was an 8-to-10 week convalesence. The Patriots have decided they couldn't wait, it seems. Especially not with the rampant thumb injuries on their defense. So they cleared a roster spot by IR'ing Koppen and have signed former 49ers defensive back Phillip Adams. He was a seventh-round pick in 2010 out of South Carolina. With both Josh Barrett and Patrick Chung -- the team's starting safeties -- playing with casts on their right arms, Adams has likely been brought in to help lift the special teams load for those players. Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

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


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."