The New England Patriots made a very logical signing when they inked wide receiver Danny Amendola this past spring. One of the game’s bright young talents was available for the taking, and Wes Welker‘s future was uncertain, at best. Who knows whether the decision to sign Amendola came before, or after the decision to let Welker walk? No matter what really went on behind the scenes, Amendola is now the one suiting up for New England.
You hate to label players as replacements for other great players, but that’s how most people are viewing Amendola – he’s Welker’s replacement whether he likes it or not. They’re two players very similar in size and skill set, and simply just two guys who are good at what they do. But there are still no doubt some concerns for the Patriots.
Amendola is far from proven in the NFL. He only started in 17 games over four years in St. Louis, and his career-high is 689 receiving yards in a season. Granted, he’s been injured a bunch, but that’s certainly not a good excuse. Still, we’ve seen what he’s capable of when healthy, and with Tom Brady tossing him the pigskin, things are only going to get better for the speedy receiver.
But at the same time, he’s going to have an immense amount of pressure on him because fans are going to expect Welker-like numbers. To put Welker’s numbers in perspective – he’s racked up more yards in the last two years, than Amendola did during his entire four-year career in St. Louis (+1,197). To say that he has big shoes to fill, might be putting it mildly. Add to that the New England area media, and the Super Bowl aspirations for the Pats, and you have one big expectation-filled season for Amendola. He’s one guy that everyone will be watching in 2013.
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