The Dolphins are trying to fill the Jarvis Landry void with two players — veteran Danny Amendola and up-and-comer Albert Wilson.
In signing Amendola away from the Patriots, the Dolphins weaken the best team in their division. And they also hope to reverse a trend of former Dolphins receivers playing well for New England— see Wes Welker, Chris Hogan.
Let’s learn a few things about Miami’s newest wide receiver threat:
- Amendola grew up in The Woodlands, Texas, which is in the Houston area. Amendola helped lead the local high school to its first-ever state championship game. Amendola’s father is a Texas high school football coach. Amendola emerged as a star receiver at Texas Tech later in his career. As a senior, he posted 1,245 yards and 6 touchdowns, though he was overshadowed somewhat by Michael Crabtree. At Texas Tech, Amendola drew comparisons to former Texas Tech receiver Welker. “He’s just utterly fearless, one of the most fearless guys I’ve ever coached,” former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach told the Houston Chronicle. “He doesn’t put limitations on himself.”
- Amendola, 32, has been at this awhile. His career began as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, when he was featured on the HBO show “Hard Knocks.” Before ever playing an NFL regular-season game, Amendola was on the practice squads of the Cowboys and Eagles. Amendola’s NFL debut actually came with the St. Louis Rams. In 2013, the Patriots signed Amendola as a replacement for Welker, who headed to the Broncos. Amendola is driven by doubters. He has tweeted a photo of a framed Eagles jersey in his house. He told ESPN his friend bought it and told him, “‘Hang this on your wall so you’ll never forget the day they cut you.'”
- Amendola has been a clutch playoff performer throughout his career. He’s averaged 37 yards per game receiving in regular season games. But 55 yards receiving in postseason games. Amendola topped 100 yards in two of New England’s three playoff games last season, including 152 in the Super Bowl against Philadelphia. Amendola has played in 13 playoff games, including 3 Super Bowls, with 2 Super Bowl rings. Adam Gase will want Amendola to be a leader in the wide receiver group. You may, or may not, remember Amendola caught key touchdown passes to spur comebacks in both Super Bowl victories. “He’s kind of a guy you take for granted,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said after a playoff win.
- Amendola has had some injuries, including: arm, clavicle, groin, ankle, knee and head. Amendola has played 16 games twice in nine seasons. After joining the Patriots in 2013, he missed: 4, 0, 2, 4 and 1 game/s. According to an article on NBCSports.com, Patriots and Eagles used these phrases to descibe Amendola before the last Super Bowl: tough, relentless and hard worker. Belichick has praised Amendola’s smarts and hands. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, a good friend of Gase’s, has called Amendola “one of the all-time great teammates.”
- Amendola signed with Ford Modeling Agency in 2017. “We are thrilled to represent Danny Amendola, not only one of the top athletes in his field, but also a man of great character,” Ford said in a press release, via patriots.com. “Danny’s work ethic, drive, and track record of success help make him the perfect fit to partner with some of the best brands and creative teams in the fashion industry, and we look forward to bringing him those opportunities.” Amendola is dating actress and model Olivia Culpo, which is an international story. The London Daily Mail wrote this headline this week: “‘Love is my drug!’: Olivia Culpo poses in a bikini as she cuddles with football star beau Danny Amendola after swimming with sharks”