On Monday, we got our first look at Wes Welker in a Broncos uniform catching passes from Peyton Manning.
What a way to start the workweek …
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But shortly after, fans were reminded that while yes, New England did lose one of the greatest slot receivers in the history of the NFL, there’s still hope that the slot receiver they did sign, Danny Amendola, can be a real asset to the team this season.
But if Amendola is going to be held to the same standards as Welker on Day 1, there’s a good chance disappointment will set in early. It’s no easy task to replicate the success that Welker had here in New England, and Amendola isn’t getting caught up in that either way.
"That's not something I need to worry about," he told reporters Tuesday. "I'm worried about the playbook and getting the routes down and getting on the same page with my teammates."
It’s probably best if Amendola doesn’t try to compare himself to Welker. In eight seasons, Welker has only missed three games. He’s caught 768 balls for 8,580 yards and 38 touchdowns. Amendola has four seasons under his belt, two of which were injury-plagued (he played just one game in 2011) and he’s hauled in 196 career receptions for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns.
Still, there wasn’t anything too special about Welker before Tom Brady came along. While Brady probably would like to see his friend back with the team, he’s ready to work with the receivers he’s got, and he too isn’t much into comparisons.
similar positions. They're about the same height. They've both got very good ability," Brady said on WEEI sports radio Thursday. "It's hard, Wes was so productive for so long, I think it's unfair to compare anyone to Wes and what he was able to accomplish in his time here. Danny is really, he's just been fun to work with. I think he's come in with an open mind and an understanding of the way that we as Patriots, the way we need to play."
And speaking of comparisons, it’s safe to say Amendola doesn’t have many for his new QB.
"I said it [Tuesday] -- he darted me in the chest with one ball and inside my head I was just like, 'Wow, this guy can really wing it,’" Amendola said. "And that's why he's Tom Brady."
And that’s why, just maybe, the Patriots will be just fine.