During the 2013 NFL season, Danny Amendola was unable to live up to the hype surrounding his signing with the New England Patriots in the offseason. Brought in as a replacement for the departed Wes Welker, the hope was that Amendola would be able to fill the shoes of Welker at wide receiver. By comparison, however, Amendola was no Welker, scoring only two touchdowns during the entire season. In fact, in his entire NFL career thus far, he has only scored nine touchdowns. Welker scored ten last season alone.
Amendola is now preparing for his second season with the Patriots, and he still has everything to prove. He has not been a standout player in training camp thus far, with most attention being focused on the established stars of the team, but this does not mean he will be getting away with another abysmal season. That being said, the more he flies under the media radar, the better things could be for Amendola.
With all the attention on Tom Brady, Darrelle Revis and Rob Gronkowski, Amendola has been quietly training for the upcoming season. The truth of the matter is that fans probably haven’t been thinking about him too much. That is, until he drops his first pass or fumbles the ball. This could very well happen, but he could also be the first receiving touchdown of the season. Of course, this is all speculation, but the less the media talks about a player, the more of an impact they seem to make when it matters most.
Last season we saw LeGarrette Blount come out of the woodwork to become one of the stars of the Patriots’ offense. Few knew his name before his impressive four touchdown outing on Jan. 11 against the Indianapolis Colts. The game made him a household name in New England and also resulted in the Pittsburgh Steelers grabbing him in the offseason. The point is that the more we ignore Amendola, the better he may do, and that is more than okay with me.
Will Amendola ever be as great a wide receiver as Welker? Absolutely not, but the Patriots have a way of turning roll players into superstars, if only for a season or two, and Amendola may be due for a breakout year with this storied franchise.