Amendola ready to make his own name with Patriots

Amendola ready to make his own name with Patriots
March 15, 2013, 4:00 pm
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(USA Today Sports)

He's not Wes Welker, and isn't trying to be, but good luck to Danny Amendola on shaking the comparisons.

Here's one: He's ready to do whatever he can to help the Patriots win. Sound familiar?

Both he and Welker both went to Texas Tech. They both play a lot inside the numbers. Some might say they have similar build, and style out on the field, too.

"We went to the same college and I’ve been watching him play for a long time," Amendola said of Welker during his first conference call as a member of the Patriots on Friday. "He’s a great player, he’s been to a lot of Pro Bowls and he’s done a lot of great things to help the Patriots win. One of my main goals is to fulfill my role and try to do what I can to help the Patriots win as well."

Welker is fine with the "slot" label (until free agency lowered his price, anyways), but Amendola considers himself a much more versatile receiver than just in the slot.

"I don’t know who has said that [I'm a slot receiver]," Amendola said. "I did a number of things last year from the outside. Whatever my role is on each play, that’s just what I have to do. I have to do my job. That’s pretty much it, regardless of whether it’s inside or outside. Like I said, I want to be a football player. You never want to be labeled as just a slot or just an outside guy. You want to feel like you can move guys around and create mismatches and whatnot. You know, I’m just going to try to fulfill my role.

Amendola has done all of those things over the last four seasons for the St. Louis Rams, one of which was under then Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, currently the offensive coordinator of the Patriots. While Amendola only played one game that season due to a broken arm suffered in the opener, he still valued his time spent with McDaniels off the field.

"Well, that was the main [appeal for coming to New England]," Amendola said. "Playing for Josh for one year gave me the opportunity to learn his offense and kind of figure out what I could do within the offense, what really excited me. I loved playing for him even though I went down the first game that year and I didn’t get much after that first game. Just the familiarity I had already with the offense and what I feel like I can bring to the table, that’s what excites me the most."

While McDaniels certainly makes things more comfortable, it's the guy throwing the ball to Amendola that will really be the difference.

"Obviously Tom Brady is a great quarterback," Amendola said. "I’m excited to work with him. We talked briefly yesterday just about getting ready to get down to work, get down to business. Hopefully get together soon so we can start throwing and stuff."

Amendola has a ways to go to earn the trust and friendship that his new QB had with Welker. He also has a ways to go to come anywhere close to Welker's production here in New England. But he's not getting wrapped up in those things.

"The first goal of mine right now is to just fulfill a role on the team really, just find my niche and meet the guys and start working," Amendola said. "I’m really not worried about a lot of things down the line. I want to get stuff done now and I want to become the best player I can as early as I can for the New England Patriots and I’m sure all the accolades or whatever that come with it will come about in the future. It’s something I can’t really control. What I can control is showing up to work on time each day and preparing to win and working hard. That’s really the only thing I’m going to be worried about."