Danny Amendola: 'Not easy' playing for Belichick

By The Sports Xchange  |  April 14, 2018 at 2:35 PM
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Danny Amendola has called Bill Belichick the best to ever coach the game, but that didn't make it hard for the veteran wide receiver to walk away from the New England Patriots.

Amendola signed a two-year $12 million contract with the Miami Dolphins last month, ending a five-year tenure with Belichick and the Patriots that included three Super Bowl appearances in the past four seasons.

Despite all the success in New England, Amendola told ESPN that it's not "easy" to play for the demanding and stoic Belichick, using an expletive to describe his personality at times.

"There were a lot of things I didn't like about playing for him, but I must say, the things I didn't like were all in regards to getting the team better, and I respected him," said Amendola. "I didn't like practicing in the snow, I didn't like practicing in the rain, but that was going to make us a better football team and that was going to make me a better football player. It wasn't easy, and he'd be the first to admit, at the (Super Bowl) ring ceremony, that it wasn't easy playing for him.

"The silver lining was that we were at the ring ceremony."

Amendola, 32, had a strong 2017 season with the Patriots, hauling in 61 catches for 659 yards and two touchdowns. He was superb in New England's run to the Super Bowl with 26 receptions in three postseason games.

Still, Amendola was under no illusions that his performance would change Belichick's way of doing business. Belichick has been notorious for letting high-profile players walk rather than play top-market dollar.

"I came in with an open mind," said Amendola. "I understand Bill runs a tight ship, and he hasn't been known to pay his players, really. I understood that I gave money back to him so I could play for him and play for my teammates and fulfill my side of the contract, and at the end of the day, I had faith that he was going to give me an opportunity to stay.

"When free agency broke, I came to the realization that he wasn't going to really come close to any of the other offers I had. I had to make a decision for my family and go down to Miami and continue my career there."

The money aside, Amendola offered a more tangible reason for disliking Belichick's way, pointing to the benching of starting cornerback Malcolm Butler for the Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia as a move that didn't make the team better.

"Nobody really got an explanation for it. He's a brother of ours. He was a brother of ours that year," said Amendola. "And I hate to see a guy who worked so hard throughout the season not get a chance to play in the biggest game of the year and really get no explanation for it. With that said, I don't know how the business aspect went into that decision. "

"I don't know how the personal aspect went into that decision between him and Bill. But as a friend, I would have loved to see him on the field that day."

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