Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. A few days ago, we looked at No. 82 Josh Boyce, and the day before that it was now-released No. 83 Fred Davis. Because today marks 80 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 80, veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola.
First and foremost, Amendola has to be credited with igniting the Patriots to a successful run in the 2015 postseason. If it weren’t for his pylon-tapping touchdown in the first half of the Divisional Round, the Patriots probably wouldn’t have climbed back from a 14-point deficit, and if it weren’t for his touchdown catch from Julian Edelman, the Patriots probably wouldn’t have erased the second 14-point gap in that memorable game.
After a quiet game against the Colts in the AFC Championship, Amendola lit it up on the biggest stage. His 48 yards and touchdown on five catches bolstered the Patriots to Super Bowl glory.
Now, it must be noted that before the playoffs, Amendola wasn’t exactly someone Patriots fans raved about. His place in the aerial attack was debated, and that 27-catch, 200-yard, one-touchdown stat line from the 2014 regular season was discouraging.
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However, it seems pretty clear that the Texas Tech product will figure prominently into the passing game this upcoming season. That exceptional performance in January and February gives one the impression that Amendola has found his role in the receiving corps, and it’s paying off.
Amendola impressed enough in offseason activities to be noted by NESN.com’s Doug Kyed. Mark Daniels, Patriots beat writer for the Providence Journal, also noticed Amendola’s strong spring.
Know this: a Patriots offense that regularly involves Amendola playing alongside Julian Edelman will help create space for Rob Gronkowski to flourish. In other words, Amendola only has to play like he did in the Divisional Round and the Super Bowl for him to have a major impact on the offense.
In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 84 Brian Tyms, No. 85 Jake Bequette, No. 86 A.J. Derby, No. 87 Rob Gronkowski, No. 88 Scott Chandler, No. 90 Zach Moore, No. 91 Jamie Collins, No. 92 Malcom Brown, No. 93 Jabaal Sheard, No. 94 Chris jones and No. 95 Chandler Jones.
Because there is no No. 79 and No. 78 on the Patriots’ roster, the Patriots Kick-Off profile series we’re doing here at Musket Fire will be taking a few days off. Join us on Thursday as we celebrate 77 days until Week 1 by taking a closer look at No. 77, tackle Nate Solder.