DAVIE — Surely at some point in his five seasons in New England, someone said something or other to Danny Amendola about embracing the grind.
And so we can’t blame Amendola for citing this as a necessarily evil on the day he was introduced to Miami Dolphins media.
Look, Amendola is a winner. He has made critical plays on the biggest stages and helped the Patriots to Super Bowl appearances and Super Bowl wins. And so when he talks about what he thinks Miami needs to do to win, stand and take notice.
“Just continue to improve every day,” Amendola said Tuesday. “Embrace the grind. Create an atmosphere here that is conducive to winning. So you know we’re excited. I’m excited to be here. And we’ve got a great group.”
Amendola was signed by Miami to a 2-year, $12 million deal, in large part, because of the leadership he’s expected to bring.
“When the time comes for me to lead, then I’ll lead,” Amendola said. “Right now I’m just trying to flow. And get the playbook. Trying to learn. And trying to adapt to this organization, this facility, the way things are going. It’s my second day in the building. So everything will work itself out.”
Countless former teammates and coaches have described Amendola as the ultimate teammate. How does he live up to that?
“Just expressing your knowledge for the game,” Amendola said. “What you’re been through. What you’ve learned along the way. We’ve got some young guys. Got some old guys. And you know, the leaders are going to step up. Whatever I can do to help this team win is what I’m going to do.”
Amendola has caught passes the last two days from Ryan Tannehill. And he even caught a few from Tannehill in advance of these voluntary sessions.
Amendola is 10-3 with the Patriots, and is the owner of two Super Bowl rings. He had 5 catches, 48 yards and 1 touchdown in New England’s Super Bowl defeat of Seattle. Then he had 8 catches, 78 yards and 1 touchdown in New England’s Super Bowl defeat of Atlanta.
And Amendola, though he’s 32, had a standout postseason this year, averaging 116 receiving yards and catching 2 touchdowns in three playoff games, as he again led the Patriots to the Super Bowl. Time and time again, Amendola has delivered in the fourth quarter of postseason games. He’s clutch.
“It all comes down to preparation,” Amendola said. “Being ready when your number is called. Really no matter what month it is, what down it is, for me it’s just all about preparation. And whenever your number is called, just be ready.”
Will Amendola let the Dolphins coaches know what New England knew about their strengths and weaknesses?
“I’m here to listen to my coaches,” he said. “And listen to what they have to say. And I’m here to follow directions. If they ask me, whatever I can provide and whatever information I can give, to help my team win, that’s what I’ll do.”