New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola is feeling like a new man after undergoing minor surgical procedures on his knee and his ankle earlier this offseason.
“I feel really good,” Amendola said Tuesday during a visit to ESPN’s “NFL Insiders.” “I had a couple minor procedures done after the season. Everybody knows how long the season can be. I wanted to go into next season feeling as fresh and ready as I can.”
Amendola did not participate in organized team activities or minicamp with the Patriots, nor did No. 1 wideout Julian Edelman, who underwent foot surgery in May.
One of the standouts from New England’s series of unpadded workouts was backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, whom Amendola and Edelman could be catching passes from to begin the season if starter Tom Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension is not overturned.
“He’s a great player,” Amendola said of Garoppolo, who is entering his third NFL season. “He’s been in the system for a couple of years now, and he’s learned a lot. He’s picked up everything that Tom has taught him and then also what Coach (Bill) Belichick has had to offer him. We’re all excited to see where he goes and see what the future holds for him.”
Amendola’s ESPN interview also included an interesting anecdote about Brady and a ping-pong paddle.
“He’s the best teammate,” Amendola said. “He’s so competitive and whatnot. I remember one story: It was my first week in the building, and he wanted to play some ping-pong. I didn’t really know how to go about it. I knew I was better than him, but I didn’t want to beat him too bad, because I wanted him throw me the ball. But I knew I was better.
“Needless to say, his competitive nature unleashed a broken paddle by the end of it. But it’s the reason why we love him and the reason why he’s the best quarterback.”
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images