By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- It's been almost two years and exactly one Super Bowl later, and the Philly Special is still messing with the hearts and minds of the New England Patriots.
That's at least how Kyle Van Noy explained his play from Sunday, when he delivered a hit to an unsuspecting Matt Barkley in the middle of a trick-play double pass by the Bills offense. Van Noy hit the Bills quarterback from behind while pursuing the play, leading to a personal foul penalty on Van Noy for unnecessary roughness.
While Van Noy insisted after the game that Barkley may have embellished a bit, the AFC Defensive Player of the Week said Wednesday that he was actually in the wrong for the hit.
But it's not entirely Van Noy's fault. The 28-year-old linebacker says he is still haunted by the infamous Philly Special from Super Bowl LII.
"I mean when you've been hit with that dumb Philly Special, that's an everlasting thought in your mind. So you don't want that to happen again," Van Noy told reporters in the Patriots' locker room Wednesday. "I actually reached out to Matt, because I feel like I'm good friends with him. And I apologized. That's what I kind of told him, like, I hope you didn't see it as a cheap shot. It was more like, that play is forever ingrained."
Van Noy said that he believed that Barkley was an eligible receiver on that play, but he must have been informed since Sunday that quarterbacks who line up under center at the snap cannot become eligible receivers.
"I think he's not eligible under center. I think it's just shotgun. But it's still in the head, and so at the end of the day, it's a boneheaded play by me," Van Noy said.
While Van Noy was not responsible for the edge on the Philly Special, he nevertheless got sucked into the misdirection, leading to him having a torturous view of the now-iconic play.
The penalty on Sunday ended up not hurting the Patriots on the scoreboard, thanks to a goal-line stand, and the Patriots went on to win the game, 16-10. Van Noy made it a point to let Barkley know that the shove was nothing personal.
"Yeah, we're cool. If I saw him, I'm sure he'd give me a hard time about it, and I'd give him a hard time, like, 'Now don't mess with me,' or whatever," Van Noy said. "But I felt I needed to just to make sure he knows I don't hate him or something like that."
If Barkley did take issue with Van Noy's hit, he'd be better off blaming Nick Foles, Doug Pederson, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Pain and anger burrowed that deep within clearly does not ever dissipate.
for more features.