BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots‘ offense is a complex system that some veteran receivers have a hard time picking up.
Chad Ochocinco couldn’t pick it up in 2011, and Brandon Lloyd — despite putting up some decent numbers — never looked completely comfortable last season.
With Wes Welker in Denver and Rob Gronkowski on the shelf for the start of the season, there is pressure on the new-look Patriots receiving corps to catch on with quarterback Tom Brady early on during Training Camp.
Danny Amendola is one of the many new faces among Brady’s targets this season, but says after five practices, it’s so far so good with his new team.
“Everybody knows this is a demanding organization and it’s all about winning. We’re working hard and getting all the work we can in,” Amendola said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz on Tuesday, joining the program shortly after practice ended. “It’s just as hard as anywhere I’ve been. It’s all about getting your work in and getting your reps, doing the best you can day-in and day-out.”
Amendola said he got an early preview of the Patriots offense while working with New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels when the two were with the St. Louis Rams two years ago.
“I had a little glimpse of it when it was in St. Louis with McDaniels, so I had an idea what it was all about,” he said. “Tom has been in the offense a long time now and he has a pretty good grasp of things. We’re all trying to get on the same page and get as many reps as we can.”
“We’ve had a lot of reps together and we’re working hard to get on the same page,” he said of his relationship with Brady. “It’s day 5 in camp; it’s early. We’re trying to get better every day, that’s all we can really do.”
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Those reps began over the summer, when Amendola and others worked out with Brady in California. He’s not concerned about the Welker comparisons that have been made since signing with the Patriots, and his recent bout with injuries over the last two years is also not on his mind heading into his first season as a Patriot.
“It’s not something I think about,” said Amednola, who played one game in 2011 and 11 games in 2012. “Injuries are part of the game and unfortunately I broke my collarbone last year and broke my arm the year before. It was pretty unfortunate, but I’m bouncing back fairly well. I feel confident in my game. I’m ready to come out here and work throughout camp.”
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“Football is a rough game, it’s physical. It is what it is,” he said. “When it comes down to it, it’s in the past. I’m not going to change the way I play, I play hard just like all the other guys out here. Sometimes you get injured; sometimes it’s part of the game. I’m going to do my best to stay on the field and play as hard as I can.”