Danny Amendola has admired the Detroit Lions from a distance considering the team is coached by Matt Patricia and is also led by Matthew Stafford. That last fact has Amendola downright excited to get going on the next chapter of his career in the Motor City. Speaking in a conference call after his signing was made official, Amendola confirmed Stafford was one of the reasons he was most ready to join the team.
In a piece recapping the signing by Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com, Amendola talks about what drew him to Detroit, and it was the ability to help out the team’s solid offense and be a part of the action with another Texas guy. Here’s what he said:
“Amendola said he can’t wait to get started learning Darrell Bevell’s new system in Detroit and to start working with quarterback Matthew Stafford and fellow receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. Amendola and Stafford both grew up in Texas together, so Amendola joked that he was happy to be joining forces with another “Texas kid.”
“He has every throw in the book,” Amendola said of Stafford. “He can do a lot of great things, so I’m excited to get started with him and working with him.”
As for Patricia, Amendola said in the same call within Twentyman’s piece that familiarity from his time in New England leads him to comfort with his new boss:
“Obviously, he’s a defensive-minded coach, he was the defensive coordinator in New England when I was there, worked together for five years, and just a guy who is relatable. A guy that’s demanding. He’s instilled a lot of mental toughness in the guys that play for him and those are the things that stood out the most.
“He was never really my coach, so to speak, because he was always on the defensive side of the ball, but I was always around him all the time and I just love the enthusiasm he brings to work. The attitude he comes into the building with every day. I’m excited to continue my career with him.”
The Lions made the big move to upgrade their offense with a stable veteran player in Amendola. The team signed him nearly as soon as the NFL’s legal tampering period opened, getting the veteran wideout to agree to a reported one year contract worth $5.75 million dollars. Amendola comes to Detroit after having a successful career with the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and of course the former St. Louis Rams, where he cut his teeth in the league after being given his first shot to do so.
Amendola has long been one of the more steady veteran options on the market since his release from the Dolphins, which was more about money than Amendola’s production with the team. In Detroit, he can be expected to figure in for the Lions in terms of filling in the slot job that was vacated by the trade of Golden Tate last year. With Tate and others expected to make big money on the free agency market, Amendola is a nice cheap option for the Lions to help move the chains and add some veteran leadership to the room. His addition probably still won’t preclude the Lions from adding a wideout in the NFL Draft this year to bring along.
Patriots fans actually longed for Amendola early in the 2018 regular season when Julian Edelman was suspended. Brandin Cooks was traded after Amendola left and just about every other receiver on the team suffered some sort of injury between July and the start of the year. Had the Patriots known what was going to become of their receiving corps, they probably would have forked over the $4 million per year that Amendola got out of the Dolphins. To this end, he could be a good value for Detroit.
In 2018, that looked like money well spent for Miami, even in spite of his release from the team. Amendola started the season hot with 11 catches on an 84.6 percent catch rate. He didn’t stretch the field in Miami, but he was exactly what the Dolphins needed him to be in an offense that already had home run hitters like Kenyan Drake and Kenny Stills. He catches the football and moves the chains. He was a security blanket for Ryan Tannehill just as he once was for Tom Brady. And he can be that for Matthew Stafford, as well, who will appreciate his veteran savvy along with his home run hitters in Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. Amendola will also bring a winning influence to that room given his two Super Bowl titles.
Detroit will be looking forward to seeing what type of magic Amendola can cook up with Stafford, and already the fit sounds like a good one.