FOXBOROUGH — The new face of the Patriots receiving corps has his hands full with the team’s playbook — a complex system by NFL standards of shifting routes, adjustments, and an ever-changing vocabulary.
But Danny Amendola, signed as a free agent in mid-March from the St. Louis Rams, is doing his best to get a jump on the difficulties of playing in New England by joining Tom Brady at the hip.
The new receiver got some extra one-on-one work with Brady in the team’s second practice during organized team activities Tuesday. He had previously spent time with Brady working out together at Southern Cal.
“He’s a really good quarterback, everybody knows that,” Amendola said. “You know, just trying to get on the same page. So far, so good.”
Amendola got one of those “welcome to New England” moments Tuesday when Brady fired a pass right into his chest. That’s when he knew he was playing with a top-notch quarterback.
“Just inside my head, I was just like, ‘Wow, this guy can really bring it.’ That’s why he’s Tom Brady.”
The more work, the better. The Patriots are banking on Amendola to replace the venerable and durable Wes Welker, who departed for Denver the same day the Patriots signed Amendola.
“Any time you get a jump, you get to work with each other, it’s good,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of good work in now, it’s good.”
Amendola is still getting used to Gillette Stadium, admitting that he’s gotten lost in the building a few times. But he’s happy he’s here and he has a bit of a leg up on the other new receivers because of his time with Brady and his time with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in St. Louis.
“When Josh was in St. Louis, I got to know [the plays] pretty good,” Amendola said. “It’s a little more intricate out here, and it’s something to grasp. I’m learning every day.”
He points to the vocabulary as the most important part of his learning process.
“It’s the verbiage,” he said. “It’s everything. That’s the most important thing, you know, the vocabulary of the offense. I’m learning day in, day out. And studying at night and everything. It’s a process. It’s the second day, so I’m looking forward to the next practice and getting ready for that.”