Danny Amendola is starting to help his Miami Dolphins squad before he’s even been able to strap on his pads and hit the field.
As the Patriots know quite well after watching him over the last handful of years, his work ethic and drive to push everyone around him to be better was something that endeared the pass catcher to the team and region. Now, he’s having that same type of impact during offseason workouts with his new club in the Dolphins.
“It’s one of those values that I don’t think you can put a price on,” Miami head coach Adam Gase told PFT Live on Wednesday of Amendola. “He’s been great in our locker room. I think the guys watch him work on the field and in the weight room and they understand why he’s played as long as he has, why he’s had success in big situations.”
Amendola inked a two year, $12 million contract with $8.25 million guaranteed with the Dolphins earlier this offseason ending his tenure in New England. The 32-year-old was an extremely clutch receiver for the Pats during his time in Foxboro. Of his 28 catches on third down this past season, Amendola was able to convert 25 of them for first downs. He also caught all four of his targets on fourth down and converted each of them for a first. He finished the regular season with 61 receptions for 659 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games.
Amendola was also extremely timely in the playoffs where he caught 26 of his 33 targets this past run for 348 yards and two touchdowns. One of those two scores ultimately proved to be the game winner in New England’s comeback win over the Jaguars in the AFC Championship to punch their ticket to Super Bowl LII.
“Any time you can get a guy who can not only produce for you but can be a great example for other guys in your locker room, he’s making other guys better,” he added. “He makes 24 other offensive guys better if they watch him work.”
While Miami is reaping the benefits of having Amendola on their roster, it’s New England’s job to now find his replacement in their offense. From an on the field standpoint, the return of Julian Edelman will help cushion the blow of his loss as will the drafting of former Miami Hurricanes wide out Braxton Berrios.
The slot receiver has been compared to Amendola throughout the pre-draft process and he could end up filling that void for the next few seasons once he gets his feet under him in the league. For the Hurricanes in 2017, the 5-foot-9, 186 pounder really jumped off the stat sheet from his previous seasons catching 55 passes for 679 yards with nine touchdowns.
As for Amendola’s off the field motivational presence, that will likely fall squarely on Edelman as he bounces back from a torn ACL last preseason.