DJ Danny Amendola creates vibe in Patriots locker room with music

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Every NFL locker room needs a good disc jockey to capture the mood, and the New England Patriots have turned to one of their veterans to fill the void in 2017. "DA" is the DJ, as evidenced by the black speaker next to his locker.

When the topic was broached to 31-year-old wide receiver Danny Amendola this week, he flashed a wide smile. "TB appointed me," he said in a lighthearted moment, in reference to quarterback Tom Brady.

The speaker Amendola uses, it turns out, is well traveled. When Brady, Amendola and other teammates went to the Kentucky Derby in May, the speaker joined them. Good music contributed to the Derby vibe.

That's what Amendola tries to bring to the Patriots locker room, as well.

One recent example came on Saturday, one of the tensest days on the NFL calendar for the Patriots. They were practicing in the early afternoon, and later in the day the roster would be reduced to the league-mandated 53 players. Some players described the vibe as "awkward" and "stressful," so Amendola offered up what he called a "Blues Soul" vibe with a song by the band The Revivalists.

"It just gives you a firm grip of reality. It's a rough day, and everybody's been there before, so you just have to keep going," Amendola said. "That's the name of this song: 'Keep Going.'"

Because Amendola's corner locker is located near the entrance to the training room, where players walk in and out regularly, the music resonates with many of his teammates.

"It's a different energy," said cornerback Stephon Gilmore, whose locker is located opposite of Amendola's. "He switches it up with a good selection."

"I like it. It's a little mix-up," added fellow receiver Chris Hogan, whose locker is a few to Amendola's left.

Last year, the loudest music was played mostly by tight end Martellus Bennett. With Bennett having departed in free agency to join the Green Bay Packers, the torch has been passed and the volume has been turned down a bit.

As one would expect, it's hard to keep everyone happy.

"I do like his style, he listens to all genres, but sometimes he'll play a genre at the wrong time," cornerback Eric Rowe said with a laugh. "Like, we're about to go to practice and he's playing something slow. It's like, 'C'mon, man! I'm not trying to get in the slow, relaxed mood.' You're trying to get your mind right; but it's all fun."

Rowe said he doesn't necessarily need music to get him going before practice, but his choice would be hip-hop in those situations. If he wants to listen to slower music, he said, that's usually in the morning when he's trying to relax.

"It helps calm me down," he said, pointing to a small speaker he has in his locker.

Many players also serve as their own individual DJs by putting on headphones and locking in to whatever is on their playlist.

Still, they are usually aware of the vibe Amendola is trying to create.

"It gets you in a good mood going out to practice," fullback James Develin said with a smile. "Danny does a good job."