BOSTON (CBS) — Going from New England to Miami has been quite the culture change for Danny Amendola.
Amendola hasn’t been a Miami Dolphin for very long, but he’s already noticed a stark difference in atmosphere with his new team. After spending five seasons with Bill Belichick’s no-nonsense ways, Amendola is enjoying a much looser feeling as he gets ready for the 2018 NFL season, and it all starts with his new head coach, Adam Gase.
“Coach Gase is one of the guys, one of the boys, and you want to fight hard for your boys. Back in New England, it’s almost like you’ve got a principal and the principal’s office and [stuff] like that,” Amendola said on the Comeback SZN podcast on Barstool Sports. “In a good way and in a bad way, too.”
While no one likes to be sent to the principal’s office, Amendola wasn’t ripping Belichick’s methods. He made it pretty clear that he enjoyed his time in New England (winning a pair of Super Bowls and getting a chance to play with Tom Brady certainly helped), calling Belichick the “greatest coach of all time” and credited the culture he has in place for teaching him how to play winning football.
“I got to play for the greatest coach of time, the greatest quarterback of all time and one of the greatest owners of all time (Robert Kraft). I got to understand what it was like to put the work in and really grind it out every single week and learn how to prepare and learn how to win,” he said. “Sometimes we’d win in New England and coach wasn’t happy, Tom wasn’t happy, or we knew we could play better here or play better there. I learned how to win and how to play and what it meant to play good football.”
But having Gase as a new “bro” is also kind of revitalizing for the nine-year veteran.
“It’s refreshing to have that kind of relationship with a coach, something I haven’t had in a long time. I FaceTimed coach Gase yesterday just to [BS] with him, just to talk to him. I was talking to his kids. I have a relationship with him that’s real unique, something I haven’t had in a while,” he said.
“When free agency broke and I had the opportunity to talk to other teams and coaches and kind of see what was out there, coach Gase called and he was cool from the jump. We talked about football, we talked about life, we talked about Miami, we talked about New England, we talked about what we both had been through with some of the organizations we had been with in our past. He’s a very relatable guy,” said Amendola. “He’s one of the guys and he works hard, he embraces the grind, he’s up at the facility 24/7 and he’s obsessed with the game. So any time you get around a coach like that, a coach you can relate to, a coach that will grind with the guys, you want to play hard for him.”
Amendola said he doesn’t necessarily agree with New England’s way of business, but added that Belichick has the respect of all of his players. He added that all the rumored drama in the Patriots organization is overblown.
“There’s not really much truth to [the rumors], to tell you the truth. There is always going to be some friction between a coach and a player in a business,” he said. “Some things are fair in this game/business. Some things aren’t fair. There’s a lot that goes into it. You’re a product to them. And in turn, knowing as a player for the organization that you have to do what’s best for your family and your body and your team.
“Personally, I can’t speak for Tom or Bill. But I know that regardless of business – and I have mixed feelings of how business is done [in New England]- I know for a fact that Coach Belichick is one of the best coaches of all time. He has all of his players respect. I know Tom would say that same thing. I know Gronk would say the same thing, regardless of how they feel about their contracts or certain situation or whatever may be going down,” he added.
However, there is one Belichick decision that Amendola can’t wrap his head around: not playing Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII.
“I don’t know the answer to that to this day,” he said. “For whatever reason, he felt, you know, he’s the coach. I can’t make that decision. I can only do my job and focus on my job. But in hind sight, it’s like ‘really, what agenda are we on?’ It’s something that I will probably never really understand.”
On that front, Amendola is certainly not alone.