FOXBORO -- New England: Meet Danny Amendola.
The New Patriots receiver made his proper introduction to fans in Friday's preseason home opener, a 25-21 win over Tampa Bay. He played 20 snaps and was targeted seven times to finish with six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.
"I thought we got some good work in. We wanted to start fast, that was our goal. I felt like we made some plays early. It was good that we got on the board early too. [It's a] work in progress."
Amendola was only too happy to share credit with Tom Brady. The quarterback, in his first game action since spraining a knee, was indeed on point, connecting on 11 of 12 throws for 107 yards and that six-point pass to Amendola.
The receiver ran a textbook post (a double with rookie Kenbrell Thompkins on the outside) and Tampa's coverage couldn't catch him. Brady's throw was perfect. Not like Amendola was surprised.
"Tom's like a coach out there on the field. He knows every intricacy of the offense and helps young guys out a lot. He's a leader."
"He works really hard," the receiver continued. "He gets the job done a lot of the time, that's why he's so good."
Amendola doesn't say much. From what he does say, you get the impression he sees things in black and white, keeps it simple.
Like with his chemistry with Brady: "I'm trying to get open for him. He's trying to complete every ball, regardless of who's out there. That's pretty much it."
When asked about Tampa Bay's somewhat surprising decision to put linebackers on him, Amendola shrugged. Defensive backs or linebackers in coverage -- doesn't matter. His strategy remains the same.
"I try to get open," he said as though almost confused by the question. "I try to get open on every play. It's no different."
Every guy on this team will temper preseason excitement with talk of getting proper reps, and all of the work left to do; setting expectations is just good business. Imagine what that will do for a guy who's even-keel to begin with?
Amendola did allow himself a bit of gushing in the end. Not only was it his home field debut, but he's healthy and looking to embark on his first 16-game season since 2010. Can't blame him for a little enthusiasm.
"It was fun. I loved it. The fans are great, great atmosphere. The stadium's beautiful, obviously. It was good to get out here."