Since a Short Stint with the Eagles, Danny Amendola Has Made It
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - As an undrafted receiver out of Texas Tech, Danny Amendola once tried to make his imprint on the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2009.
It was Amendola's second attempt a trying to crack the league after failing to make the Dallas Cowboys the year earlier and you could see The Woodlands, Texas native had the skills to be a solid slot receiver at the professional level. He just needed a little more seasoning.
Amendola eventually caught on in St. Louis and started to get that experience, snaring 85 balls for the Rams by 2010.
St. Louis eventually turned into New England where Amendola has taken to the Tom Brady template, not only winning Super Bowls (in his case two with the opportunity for a third against the Eagles a week from Sunday) but being good looking enough to be signed by the Ford Modeling Agency and start dating Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo.
From a football perspective, Amendola has turned into Brady's security blanket in the absence of Julian Edelman, who has missed the season with a torn ACL.
The current Eagles head coach, Doug Pederson, was a quality control coach under Andy Reid when Amendola was a little-known free agent in Philadelphia trying to open some eyes.
"Amendola was a player that I thought was a real special, core teams guy, going to be a return specialist, could be a slot receiver, had some talent," Pederson remembered on Thursday. "It was just unfortunate we couldn't keep him. Obviously, he's been in New England now, and he's had a tremendous career, and he's helped them win some world championships.
"... And that happens in this game. Listen, you're going to lose some players. It's just the nature of the game. You're hoping to make the right decisions at the end of training camp or during the season."
Amendola, though, isn't thinking about the 2009 Eagles, he's focused on the 2017-18 bunch that has proven to have one of the toughest defenses in football en route to winning the NFC championship.
And from his perspective, the more meaningful memory is his ex-Super Bowl teammates -- LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long -- who now call Philadelphia home.
"They're good football players. LeGarrette is a good friend of mine and Chris is one of my best friends so it's going to be fun to line up against them and get going," Amendola said.
For the next 10 days or so, friendships have to be put on the back burner though.
"Yeah, what is the game – 60 minutes long or more? Yeah. We're going to be trying to rip each other's heads off I'm sure. Pretty natural in the NFL," Amendola assessed.
Against Philadelphia, playing in the slot means lining up against Patrick Robinson, who has had a great season for the Eagles, culminating in last week's pick-six that tore the collective heart out of the Minnesota Vikings.
"They're a good football team," Amendola said of the Eagles. "They fly around, well coached, great athletes and good organization."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen