Danny Amendola

Amendola back at practice: 'This is the best I've felt in a long time'

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Amendola back at practice: 'This is the best I've felt in a long time'

FOXBORO -- Danny Amendola hasn't done much in Patriots practices since Day 1. More than a week and seven practices later, the 31-year-old wideout was back on the field looking like a full participant.

Though he's taken part in receiver drills and punt-return work previously, Saturday was his first time since catching eight passes for 78 yards and a score in Super Bowl LI that he's donned full pads and worked against defensive backs.

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Amendola indicated that the time he's spent away from the field recently hasn't been due to any lingering injury issue. Instead, it's been about managing his health so that he's ready at the right time.

"Sometimes the coaches do a good job of holding me back," he said following Saturday's rainy-day session. "If I was to get out there too soon or if I wasn’t ready or had something that was bothering me a little bit, I would play through it and sometimes it would make things worse. I feel like pace is a huge part of being successful through preseason and on into the season. I like to go full speed all the time. Right now, I’m kind of easing into and getting ready."

For a guy who's looked like he's shot out of a cannon during Tom Brady's Best Buddies flag football game in years past, having his workload dialed back to save him from himself probably isn't a terrible idea. When healthy, he's one of Brady's most trusted receivers, as evidenced by his 13 grabs for 126 yards, two scores and a two-point conversion in New England's last two Super Bowl victories. 

Amendola said on Saturday that even after earning another ring, he hasn't considered retirement.

"I still have more to play," he said. "My body feels really good. I feel the best I’ve felt in a long time. I’m excited to get out there and kind of get some reps, get some more plays into the preseason and go from there . . . 

"I want to play football for some more time. I’m not done yet. Wherever that may be, whatever it is, wherever it is, I want to play football at a high level, and this is where it’s going to be. I love it here. I’m going to try to make this team. I’m going to try to fill my role whatever that may be. Try to expand my role whatever that may be. Try to be here for my teammates and try to win games. That’s why I’m here."

Amendola was set to make $6 million in salary in 2017, though it was relatively clear he was not going to be playing for the Patriots under that contract the way it was structured. In April, news broke that he would re-do his deal with New England for the third time in as many years to save the Patriots $4.75 million in cap space. His $1.25 million base salary for 2017 is fully guaranteed and he could make as much as $1.7 million.

Why the willingness to take a reduced salary again, Amendola was asked?

"I love playing for this city. I love playing for this team," he said Saturday. "I love the atmosphere that coach [Bill Belichick] brings when we walk in the building every day. I want to play good football. I feel like this is the place where I’ll be able to challenge myself and play the best football I can. Ultimately, that’s why I’m here."

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Postcard from camp, Day Nine: Let the wet reps soak in

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Postcard from camp, Day Nine: Let the wet reps soak in

FOXBORO -- The Patriots were back in full pads for the fifth consecutive day on Saturday. It was their seventh padded practice in eight days. The sun was out to start but about an hour into the session, the heavens opened. 

Here's what we saw...

ATTENDANCE
* The Patriots got several players back at practice on Saturday. Danny Amendola competed in team periods for the first time since practice No. 1. Duron Harmon was back on the field after dealing with a minor leg issue. Joe Thuney returned less than 24 hours after leaving halfway through Friday's practice. 

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* On the lower field to do some rehab and conditioning were Nate Solder, Malcolm Mitchell, Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee and David Jones. 

NOTEWORTHY MOMENTS
* Rob Gronkowski looked positively explosive getting out of his stance during one 11-on-11 rep. The only problem? He had sprinted about 10 yards before he realized he had false started. he was quickly sent off for a lap. 

* Dwayne Allen made one of the better catches of the afternoon. Tom Brady threw one to him down the seam that was slightly behind him (and away from safety Patrick Chung). Allen twisted his hips and made the grab before falling to the turf. 

* That catch was topped by Devin Lucien later in the session who made a leaping catch of a Jimmy Garoppolo pass down the middle of the field with Cyrus Jones and Nate Ebner close in coverage. 

* Jonathan Jones made one of the better defensive plays of the day, tracking down DJ Foster after losing a step on Foster's wheel route. His makeup speed allowed him to get his hands on Jacoby Brissett's pass at the last minute and bat it away. Moments later, Jones muffed a free kick from Ryan Allen. 

* Rookie defensive end Derek Rivers has had a good amount of experience moving around the defensive line thus far in camp. He has played on the outside, both with a hand in the dirt and in a two-point stance. On Saturday he continued a recent trend of playing some three-technique (over the outside shoulder of the guard) in pass-rush situations. The Patriots have made frequent use of their ends on the interior in sub situations over the course of the last few seasons. 

* David Harris and Trevor Bates both made nice plays from the middle linebacker spot to stop runs in 11-on-11 periods early in practice. 

11-ON-11
* Brandon Bolden run.
* Gronkowski false start. Lap.
* Brady complete to Allen up the field. 
* Bolden run. 
* Bolden run. 
* Bolden run. 

* Daniels run.
* Daniels run. 
* Garoppolo complete to Foster. 
* Daniels run. 
* Daniels run. 
* Daniels run. 

* White run. 
* White run. 
* Lewis run. 
* Lewis run. 
* Bolden run. 
* Bolden run. 
* Lewis run. 

* Brady complete to Lewis. Pressure up the gut from Lawrence Guy working alongside Deatrich Wise.
* Lewis run. Good push from Cannon and Mason on Wise and Guy. 

* Garoppolo complete to Bolden. 
* Foster run. Good penetration by Harris. 
* Foster run. Good push from Rowe on the edge to turn Foster back inside.

* Brissett incomplete to Washington with Rowe in coverage. 
* Daniels run. 
* Brissett complete to Lucien over the middle. Nice ball with Coleman in coverage.

* Bolden run.
* Bolden run. 
* Lewis run.
* Lewis run. 
* Bolden run at the goal line. Followed Develin in.
* Bolden run at the goal line. Followed Develin in. 

* Daniels run. Thompson gets a pretty good push off the edge. 

* Brady complete to Edelman, who looks unafraid to cut after the catch. 
* Daniels run. 

* Garoppolo complete to Amendola in the flat. 
* Garoppolo complete to Hogan, but he would've been sacked by Flowers. Flowers worked inside after disengaging from Garcia. 
* Garoppolo complete to Lewis. 
* Garoppolo incomplete for Cotton. Ball was dropped. Roberts in coverage. 

* Brissett complete to KJ Maye. 
* Brissett incomplete for Foster down the sideline. Foster was open, but Jonathan Jones recovered well while the ball was in the air to break it up. 

HURRY-UP
* Brady complete to White.
* Brady incomplete to Edelman. 
* Bolden run. 
* Brady complete to Edelman.
* Brady complete to White. 
* Brady incomplete for Edelman. Flowers in the backfield, Brady couldn't find anyone.
* Brady incomplete for Hogan. Wise gets his arms up in the passing lane to make things tough.
* Brady incomplete for Cooks. Pass looked overthrown, but Cooks wanted a pass interference call on Gilmore. 

* Garoppolo complete to Amendola. 
* Garoppolo complete to Devin Lucien. Maybe the catch of the day. Cyrus Jones and Nate Ebner were in coverage. 
* Ferentz makes a poor shotgun snap. Garoppolo falls on it. 
* Garoppolo intercepted by Ebner deep down the field. Wobbly ball that hung up in the air. 

ALTERNATING REPS BETWEEN BRADY, GAROPPOLO
* Brady incomplete for White. Pass broken up by Kyle Van Noy. Butler a little shaken up. 
* Garoppolo incomplete for Washington. McCourty broke it up. Another wobbler. 
* Brady incomplete for Hogan. Jonathan Jones broke it up. 
* Garoppolo complete to Foster over the middle. 
* Brady complete to Hogan. 
* Brady complete to White. 

* Foster run. 
* Garoppolo complete to Allen. 

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Edelman, Amendola go full 'luchadores' during Mexico visit

Edelman, Amendola go full 'luchadores' during Mexico visit

Tom Brady's not the only one traveling the globe to promote football.

Two of his receivers, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, headed to Mexico City to bring the game to fans there in advance of New England's regular-season matchup with Oakland at Estadio Azteca later this year. 

As part of the trip, Edelman and Amendola hung out with locals and played soccer with kids not far from the stadium where they'll take on the Raiders on Nov. 19.

The pair also briefly dipped their toes into the world of Mexican wrestling, getting a chance to dress as "luchadores." NFL Mexico's Instagram account described the spandex-wearing Patriots as "La Ardilla" (the Squirrel) and "El Zorro" (the Fox).  

Both receivers have been tracking their few days south of the border on their respective social-media accounts.