With the Patriots starting the season with almost an entirely new receiving corps, getting those players on the field in training camp and catching passes from Tom Brady couldn’t come early enough.
Leading the incoming group of pass-catchers is Danny Amendola, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Rams. Amendola signed a five year, $31 million contract with the Patriots in March, not long after veteran receiver Wes Welker had decided to join the Broncos.
Welker was one of the smallest offensive players for the Patriots, but he left possibly the biggest shoes to fill.
“Welker’s a great player, done a lot of great things,” said Amendola, who also played at Texas Tech, the same school as Welker. “I’m excited to get the opportunity to play here, and show my teammates and whoever that I’ll try to be the best I can be.”
Amendola cautioned, though, that it’ll take time for he and Brady to click.
“It’s going to be a while,” he said. “We’ll work out the kinks from here on out until the end of the season. We’ll try to improve every day, that’s just the way football goes.
“We’re all just trying to get on the same page. He’s been here for a long time doing a lot of great things, I’m trying to adapt and trying to learn the best I can to get ready to play for him and for our team.”
Joining the Patriots reunites Amendola with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who held a similar position with the Rams. Slighter taller than Welker, and five years younger, Amendola is hoping to become Brady’s go-to option as the slot receiver.
He’s spent time studying his new quarterback – “He’s very demanding” – and has also watched game tape of when other receivers, such as Welker and Deion Branch, were catching passes from Brady.
Now, barring something unexpected, Amendola will become one of those receivers targeted by Brady.
“I watch a lot of game film, I’ve seen every game, last year, year before,” Amendola said. “I knew what to expect coming in here, it’s why I wanted to come here; I’m excited to be here, excited to work.”