Danny Amendola: ‘You have to play with a chip on your shoulder’
|08.07.13 at 1:06 pm ET|
On Friday, Patriots fans will finally get a look at Wes Welker‘s replacement in game action.
And Danny Amendola, for one, is excited about the chance to get on the field and show that he’s up to the task of being a go-to guy for Tom Brady. Amendola, like his predecessor told Sports Illustrated, is watching what he says in camp.
But perhaps most telling is the attitude Amendola is taking in trying to prove he belongs in a high-powered offense with one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.
“You have to play with a chip on your shoulder,” Amendola said. “It’s the NFL. Everybody does. It’s an intense game. It’s very physical and these young guys will learn. We’re going to get better.”
You don’t get better in the Patriots system without a little tough love, like the tough love that comes with a look from the quarterback when you’re not in the right place at the right time.
Such was the case on Monday when Brady threw behind Amendola on a crossing route and then went up to him and signaled for a slight adjustment that Brady thought he was going to make.
Sometimes, Brady doesn’t even have to signal. He can communicate with his eyes. Has Amendola gotten that look?
“Perhaps I have,” Amendola conceded. “Tom does a great job of getting everybody in the right position and leading the group. We’re all amped up to be a part of that.
“We’re all excited about getting out there and getting some quality reps in against a quality team.”
Those reps began Tuesday in Philadelphia when Amendola caught a pair of touchdowns from Brady in 7-on-7 drills, and then later in 11-on-11 sets.
Also helping is Josh McDaniels, who coached Amendola as his offensive coordinator in 2011 with the Rams.
“I learned a lot from Josh when I was in St. Louis,” Amendola said. “To have my foot in the door coming over here was nice. I know the verbiage, I know the playbook a little bit. I’m just trying to build off that and get better.”
For now, it’s just putting the nose to the grindstone and working to get better.
“It’s camp. It’s a grind but you have to find the fun in it and it’s good to be around the guys and the down time,” Amendola said. “There’s a lot of intensity in the game. It goes from preseason to regular season to the big games. The tempo changes a lot. There’s a lot of intensity. It’ll change We’ll get the speed acclimated in the first game and it’ll amp up from there.
“I’m learning every day. It’s still early. We’re trying to get better every day. That’s all I can say.”
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