Changing Places

I remember back during the 2013 off-season when the New England Patriots decided not to bring Wes Welker back and they replaced him with Danny Amendola. I shook my head and didn’t really understand the move because Danny has had a history of injuries throughout his career. Since becoming a Patriot, he’s been that x-factor for their offense because we know what Brady, Gronkowski, and Edelman will get theirs and those other receivers I mentioned saw a lot of different looks and coverages. The Patriots decided not to bring Amendola back and he’ll still be playing football in the same division next season, but for the Miami Dolphins.

The incredible thing about the Patriots is when guys struggle elsewhere, they have some type of way to bring out the best out of football players and I definitely saw that in Danny Amendola during his time with the Patriots. He’s a smaller receiver with excellent shiftiness to get open, he’s a good route runner with the consistency to run the route tree in its entirety and no matter the coverage or defensive scheme, he always finds a way to get open and make that big that catch to give the football team some momentum or move the chains. When Julian Edelman was lost for the season with a torn ACL, Amendola stepped it up and became that trusted target for Brady and he showed that he can be depended on as he was used in that “Edelman-like capacity”. I often think of the big plays that Danny made in the playoffs for New England. The 2014 divisional round of the playoffs against Baltimore is one when Brady swung the ball to Edelman on a screen pass and Jules flicked it down the field to Amendola to get the Patriots back in the game. He caught a touchdown pass in Super Bowl 49 against the Seahawks to bring the Patriots within 3 points, he made a few big catches in the epic Super Bowl comeback win against the Falcons and in the AFC Championship game this January, when Gronk went down, he stepped up and caught two big touchdown passes including the game-winner to help them advance to the Super Bowl. I don’t think New England wins that game without Danny Amendola.

He’ll stay in the division and will get to face his former team two times a year now. He adds some veteran experience to a Dolphins team that just lost Jarvis Landry to the Cleveland Browns last Friday.