New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola has much to prove this year. The talented receiver didn’t have the greatest season in his first year with the Patriots, but most of that was due to a nagging injury that slowed him down. Because of his disappointing season, Amendola is flying under the radar this year, but that doesn’t make this upcoming season any less important. According to a report by Christopher L. Gasper of the Boston Globe Friday, Amendola is out to make an impact and is more comfortable catching footballs from Tom Brady.
As the team’s highest-paid receiver, Amendola still carries high expectations. When healthy, he can have a great impact on the game. The team saw a glimpse of that with his performance last year’s season-opener against the Buffalo Bills. It was the same game he suffered a groin injury that struggled with the rest of the year. His 10 catches for 104 yards was what the team and fans were looking for, especially after losing Wes Welker to free agency. With another training camp under his belt, Amendola feels his comfort level is higher.
Speaking on his progress, Amendola told reporters after practice on Thursday, “I feel comfortable. It’s different. A year under your belt in a new system, in a new place, in a new organization, it’s kind of like when a rookie comes in for the first time and tries to learn the offense. It might be difficult at times, but that second year that learning curve is much less. I feel very comfortable right now. I’m just trying to come out here and work.”
If Amendola can’t catch on and doesn’t meet expectations, he could be in jeopardy of even making the team or could be traded. In the second season of a five-year deal, Amendola would like to avoid the embarrassment of those possibilities and stand out as a reliable receiver for Brady. Health certainly plays a big part of that and Amendola is full aware that his production depends on his ability to stay on the field.