|Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola team up in ‘Cops’ video||04.19.16 at 2:16 pm ET|
Maybe Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola want to be actors following their football careers.
Edelman posted a video to his YouTube page on Tuesday of he and Amendola playing off of the TV show “Cops.” They titled it “PATS: Cleaning the streets.”
See for yourself.
|New Patriots TE Martellus Bennett working out with WR Danny Amendola||04.11.16 at 5:46 pm ET|
We were already aware of the fact that Danny Amendola is buddies with new teammate Chris Long (the two were together for a spell as members of the Rams), but now it appears that Amendola is doing his best to make another new member of the roster feel welcome. The following shot popped up on Bennett’s Instagram account on Monday.
|Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola respond to Tom Brady’s Facebook post||03.31.16 at 12:23 pm ET|
Early Thursday morning Tom Brady posted a video to Facebook calling all his wide receivers to catch passes from him on the beach.
Well, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola responded with a pretty funny video of their own posted to Edelman’s Facebook page with the caption: Tom Brady …10-4
See for yourself.
Tom Brady …10-4
Posted by Julian Edelman on Thursday, March 31, 2016
|What is Danny Amendola’s future with Patriots?||03.17.16 at 4:14 pm ET|
The Patriots have spent the bulk of the offseason addressing some of their more pressing personnel issues, but against the backdrop of the acquisitions of wide receiver Chris Hogan and tight end Martellus Bennett, it’s certainly worth wondering about the future of Danny Amendola in New England.
The 5-foot-11, 183-pounder, who turns 31 in November, is coming off an impressive year where he caught 65 passes for 648 yards and three touchdowns, all while finishing the season with a catch rate of 75 percent, an impressive stat for a wide receiver.
He also displayed excellent special teams value while working as a kick and punt returner. (He averaged 21.5 yards per kick return and 12 yards per punt return, and delivered one of the special teams highlights of the year with an electrifying 82-yard return against the Giants.)
The truth is that the numbers weren’t necessarily overwhelming, but because of injuries and the overall evolution of the offense, there were large stretches of the season where he became a major part of the passing game — with Julian Edelman on the shelf and Brandon LaFell struggling, he was absolutely vital to the success of the offense.
In a four-game stretch from mid-November through mid-December with Edelman out because of injury, Amendola had 32 catches on 44 targets for 304 yards and a touchdown.
But when it comes to 2016, provided everyone stays healthy, and newcomers Bennett and Hogan get acclimated to the offense in rapid fashion, targets will be few and far between in the New England passing game. On a team with Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Dion Lewis, Bennett and Hogan, Amendola could find himself the odd man out, and as a result, it could be hard to justify his $6.8 million cap hit.
Granted, there are injuries every season, but at this point on the calendar, Amendola projects to be an expensive insurance item. Keeping in mind that the Patriots always pay for what they believe is future returns, not past performance, it’s likely that they want to revisit that final number before the start of the season.
|Resetting Patriots depth chart at wide receiver||03.03.16 at 12:53 pm ET|
With the changes over the course of the last few days — and free agency and the draft approaching — it’s worth taking a look at the Patriots receiver position as it stands right now.
Danny Amendola: The 30-year-old may still have his contract restructured for 2016, but the 5-foot-11, 183-pounder enjoyed a bounce late in 2014 that carried him into a really impressive 2015. He ended last year with 65 catches on 87 targets for 648 yards and three touchdowns. There’s a nagging belief that he could eventually fall victim to the Patriots’ philosophy of giving up on a guy a year too early instead of a year too late, but as of this moment, he’s considered one of the more important assets in the New England passing game. His 75 percent catch rate (65 catches on 87 targets) last season was one of the best of the Tom Brady era for any pass catcher targeted 20 or more times in a season.
Aaron Dobson: The 2015 season was another lost year for Dobson, as the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder finished the season with 13 catches for 141 yards in eight games before going on injured reserve. On the surface — among the receivers currently on the depth chart — he probably stands to benefit the most from the fact that Brandon LaFell is no longer around, as there was some offensive redundancy when you compared the two in the New England system. But Dobson, who will turn 25 in June, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Despite the fact that the Patriots are thin at receiver, it’s not a stretch to suggest that he’s playing for his job this spring and summer, especially if the Patriots invest in an outside-the-hash marks wide receiver either in free agency or the draft.
Julian Edelman: The linchpin of the New England passing game, the 6-foot, 198-pounder has become absolutely indispensable to the success of the Patriots offense. He’s one of nine receivers in the entire league with at least 250 catches since the start of the 2013 season (he’s fifth on the list with 258 receptions in the regular season), and only one of two guys in the league in that stretch to hit 250 catches in less than 40 regular-season games. He’s not going anywhere.
Chris Harper: The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder finished the season with one catch for six yards, but gained a small measure of infamy for his muffed punt in the second half of the regular-season loss to the Broncos, a gaffe that turned out to haunt the Patriots. However, he was cut and brought back, which certainly speaks to what the coaches think of him, at least from a depth standpoint. Bottom line? He’ll certainly be a part of the mix in 2016.
Keshawn Martin: A wild card, at least at this point. The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder was acquired from Houston early in the year, and ended with eight catches for 92 yards in limited action. Quick and shifty, he certainly appeared to be the type who could offer some short-term depth at the receiver position to go along with some special teams value. With a full year in the system, Martin, who will turn 26 later this month, will be someone to watch when the offseason workouts roll around.
In addition, DeAndre Carter and Brandon Gibson are both on the roster, but are question marks coming into 2016. Carter is a 5-foot-8, 188-pounder out of Sacramento State who was signed to New England’s practice squad in December. He did not see any action last season. Meanwhile, Gibson impressed last summer, but suffered an injury in a preseason game with the Saints and was lost for the season. The 6-foot, 210-pounder out of Washington State, who will turn 29 this summer, has 233 catches for 2,711 yards and 13 touchdowns in seven seasons in the NFL.
[UPDATE 2:08 p.m.: Gibson has tweeted a picture of he and Tom Brady saying he’s thankful for being able to learn from the best last year during training camp. As a unrestricted free agent, it appears Gibson will not be back with New England.]
|Patriots position-by-position breakdown: Wide receiver||02.19.16 at 6:00 am ET|
With the Patriots done for the season, we’ve got an end-of-the-year position-by-position breakdown of where the Patriots stand and what figures to be the strengths and weaknesses for the team at that position going forward. We started our overview with the quarterbacks, the secondary, the running backs, the linebackers, and now the wide receivers.
Depth chart: Julian Edelman (61 catches, 692 yards, 7 touchdowns), Danny Amendola (65 catches, 648 yards, 3 touchdowns), Brandon LaFell (37 catches, 515 yards), Keshawn Martin (24 catches, 269 yards, 2 touchdowns), Aaron Dobson (13 catches, 141 yards,) Chris Harper (1 catch, 6 yards), Brian Tyms.
Overview: Overall, all things considered, the Patriots wide receivers could have been better in 2015. A lot of this has to do with Edelman breaking a bone in his foot in the Nov. 15 game against the Giants, as the Patriots were undefeated at that point, but once Edelman went down the offense struggled. Edelman was able to return for the postseason, but by that point the team had lost homefield advantage. Amendola was also banged up down the stretch and played through a knee injury, which impacted his performance.
New England struggled all season to find a No. 3 receiver to go along with Edelman and Amendola. LaFell had a very disappointing season after what was a very good 2015 campaign, his first as a Patriot. Dobson was put on season-ending injured reserve early in the year. They traded for Martin and while he did what he could, he was a solid No. 4-5 wide out, not a No. 3. Harper, an undrafted rookie free agent, had a solid training camp, but couldn’t carry that momentum into actual games, as after being added to the roster following the injuries, he wasn’t active for any of the playoff games.
Who will stay? All players are under contract for 2016 and it would seem likely all of them return, at least for training camp. Amendola’s deal may need to be restructured once again as his cap hit is $6.8 million. The Texas Tech product seems comfortable in New England and at 30 years old, could be willing to do so in order to stay with the Patriots. Edelman will once again be the No. 1 wide out, but he is getting older and with the hits he takes, it may start to be getting time to start thinking of finding another slot receiver. Also, Brian Tyms, who is a restricted free agent could be back with the team and provide a deep threat for Tom Brady.
Who will go? If one player were to go, it would be LaFell who struggled to get caught up after missing all of training camp with a foot injury suffered in 2015. He led the entire NFL in targets without a touchdown with 74. He was even phased out in the AFC championship game, as it looked like Martin jumped him on the depth chart. Also, LaFell appeared frustrated with how things were going in the final weeks of the regular season and into the postseason. If LaFell were to be cut, the Patriots would save just over $2 million.
By the numbers: 12 — Of Brady’s 36 touchdown passes only 12 of them went to wide receivers (33 percent).
|Scouting Report: What you need to know about Patriots-Broncos||01.23.16 at 2:26 pm ET|
WHEN THE PATRIOTS RUN THE BALL
There is no scenario I can imagine where the success or failure of the Patriots on Sunday will depend on their ability to run the ball, other than as a teaser to set up some play-action possibilities later in the game. Steven Jackson (21 carries, 50 yards, 1 TD) has done well in his limited time in New England, but given the strengths and weaknesses of both sides heading into this matchup, it would be a surprise if the Patriots had more than 20 designed runs in Sunday’s game against the Broncos. New England finished the regular season 30th in the league when it came to running the ball, averaging 87.8 rushing yards per game and 29th in yards per carry at 3.7, while Denver was third in the NFL in run defense, having allowed 83.6 yards per contest (and a league-best 3.3 yards per carry) on the ground. Not a palatable matchup for the Patriots — as a result, don’t expect them to run the ball much on Sunday.
WHEN THE PATRIOTS PASS THE BALL
This is going to be one of two matchups that decide the game (with the other being Denver’s ability to run the ball, but we’ll get to that momentarily). Can the Patriots utilize the options in the passing game who weren’t available to quarterback Tom Brady in the first game this time around? From this viewpoint, the feeling is that a healthy Rob Gronkowski, combined with Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola (neither of whom played in the November showdown between the two teams) will be enough to gain an edge on a Denver defense that was one of the best in the league against the pass over the course of the 2015 season. Expect the Patriots to come out in a spread formation, with four or five-wide across the board, and if they can successfully delay their quick-strike passing game — that is to say, have Brady get the ball out consistently to trusted targets like Edelman, Amendola and James White — in two seconds or less, then New England is going to roll. At the same time, there’s a chess-match aspect to this as well. If the Broncos are able to disrupt the timing of the New England receivers and get their hands on them off the line, that could slow things down. (Of course, the Patriots could counteract this with plenty of pre-snap movement and motion, as they have done in the past.) The other thing that Brady needs to be mindful of is the fact that if the Denver front seven can’t get to him in two seconds before he gets the ball out, they’d likely come at him with hands high trying to bat down passes. All food for thought as both sides try and one-up each other as part of what will be the most important matchup of the contest.
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