It came on the first question, the second part of a two-part query.
The Amendola vs. Welker storyline is a natural one – they both went to Texas Tech and have a similar underdog story after going undrafted – and it’s something that figures to follow the 27-year-old Amendola throughout his tenure with the Patriots. After all, he was signed to a five-year deal to help the team replace Welker.
“As far as comparisons to Wes, I’ve been hearing it for a long time,” Amendola said Friday. “I watched him play the whole time – he’s a great player, he’s had a number of Pro Bowls and done a lot of good things to help the Patriots win. One of my main goals is to fill my role and try to do what I can to now help the Patriots win as well.”
As for what role Amendola will play in New England, a few things to keep in mind: At 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds, he’s slightly bigger than Welker (5-9, 185), but his skill set is similar (e.g. run after the catch, good change of direction) although not a carbon copy (he’s faster in terms of straight-line speed). Amendola projects to the slot, but he has versatility to also play outside, which Welker did as well.
In 2011, Amendola played under coordinator Josh McDaniels with the Rams and he said that added a layer of comfort for him in signing with the Patriots.
He added that he spoke with quarterback Tom Brady briefly on Thursday, and “hopefully we’ll get together soon so we can start throwing.”
Describing how he views himself after being asked about his strengths and weaknesses, Amendola said: “I believe that, deep down at heart, I’m a football player.”
Sounds a lot like the player he was signed to help replace.