Danny Amendola discussed signing with New England, being compared to Wes Welker, and the perception of him as being injury prone in a conference call with reporters on Friday.
“Obviously I’m really excited to sign, excited for the opportunity, ready to get this process going and start playing football,” Amendola said about signing with the Patriots.
The 27-year old has much in common with Welker: both had successful careers at Texas Tech, both went undrafted, and both didn’t end up with the team that initially signed them; Welker was cut by the Chargers before latching on with the Dolphins, and Amendola was with both the Cowboys and Eagles before finding a spot with the Rams.
With St. Louis in 2011, Amendola’s offensive coordinator was Josh McDaniels, and though Amendola only played one game that season before going on injured reserve because of a dislocated elbow, reuniting with McDaniels was a big draw for him.
“That was the main thing, was being with Josh for one year, I got to learn his offense and figure out what I could do in his offense, and that excited me,” Amendola said, noting that he didn’t get to play much that season. “The familiarity with the offense and what I can do (in it) excited me the most.”
He said he spoke briefly with Tom Brady on Thursday.
Amendola didn’t want to pigeonhole himself as only a slot receiver, saying that he played inside and outside last year with the Rams; “I just try to fit my role,” he said.
As for comparisons to Welker, they’re nothing new for he Houston-area native.
“I’ve been hearing them for a long time,” Amendola said. “He’s a great player, he’s been to Pro Bowls, he did a lot of things to help the Patriots win, but my goal … is to help the Patriots win as well.”
Amendola has played in just 12 games over the previous two seasons; after the ’11 elbow injury, he missed five games last year to a broken collarbone.
The idea that he’s injury prone is not one he concerns himself with.
“Being a football player you have to understand it’s a physical game. Injuries sometimes happen. You have to stay positive and work on other areas – get smart in the film room, work in the weight room,” Amendola said. “It’s just playing the game, stuff like that happens. Trying to stay healthy and trying to stay on the field is the No. 1 priority.”
Though Welker’s success in New England led to him being considered the best slot receiver in the NFL, Amendola has no such expectations.
“The first goal of mine is to fulfill a role on a team, fill a niche, meet all the guys and start working,” he said. “I want to become the best player I can as early as I can for the New England Patriots. All of the accolades that come with it [success] will come in the future, but I can’t really control that.
“I can prepare to win (and) work hard. That’s the only thing I’ll be worried about.”