Get a load of Danny Playoffs! Givin' his old coaching staff the business:
I might consider myself to be one of Bill Belichick's Unsullied and pledged my life to defend him. But if we're being honest, I don't hate this. For a number of reasons. And not just because Amendola and I share that bond of friendship that can only exist between two men who met once at a joint appearance for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
For starters, this isn't even the saltiest Amendola has been toward his old coach. Remember this gem from a couple of years ago?
“It’s not easy, that’s for sure. He’s an asshole sometimes. There were a lot of things I didn’t like about playing for him, but I must say, the things I didn’t like were all in regards to getting the team better, and I respected him. I didn’t like practicing in the snow, I didn’t like practicing in the rain, but that was going to make us a better football team and that was going to make me a better football player. It wasn’t easy, and he’d be the first to admit, at the ring ceremony, that it wasn’t easy playing for him. The silver lining was that we were at the ring ceremony.” – Danny Amendola to Mike Reiss
So I appreciate today's sentiment because this is how anyone should think. When you work and fight and triumph alongside a coworker you care about, you should always think the success belongs to you. I mean, you can give credit where it's due to the boss. But only the worst sort of toady sycophant with no self-respect believes the company would've succeeded if it wasn't for themselves and their comrades. It's a matter of personal pride. And should be. I don't have a direct analogy here because I've been Lone Wolfing it at Barstool for over 15 years. But if I collaborated with someone the way Amendola did with Brady to win two Super Bowls, I'd believe that Dave would still be delivering free newspapers in an Astrovan if he didn't have us.
Besides, the bond between a quarterback and his receivers is unlike any other in all the world. They've got that weird, totally symbiotic relationship the rest of mankind doesn't experience and can't really relate to. It's less like a friendship than it's like the way in "Avatar" the blue cat people would jump on those pterodactyl things and plug their hair into the USB port so they could fly around together. Any receiver should feel the way about his QB the way Amendola does about Brady and the whole Dynasty being his masterwork.
That said, if I'm still being honest I think Amendola is overlooking a few things. Say that an enormous amount of the credit should go to Brady and you'll get no argument from any sentient human being who doesn't have some bizarre anti-Brady bias. But say it's all him, and I'll have to step in and point out a few things. Like how in 21 years in charge in New England, Belichick's defenses have been in the top 10 in fewest points allowed 15 times, including this year without Brady. And they've given up the fewest points three times. How all four units of his special teams have been consistently among the best in the league. And how those non-Brady phases of the Patriots game are responsible for:
- The best defensive performance in Super Bowl history, holding the 2018 Rams out of the red zone and the end zone
- Holding the 2016 Falcons to 7 points in the 2nd half, with a strip sack and forcing a punt after 1st & 10 from the NE 22
- Picking off 2003 Peyton Manning four times in a playoff game, the week after his offense never punted
- Holding 2004 Manning to 3 points the week after he threw for 458 yards and a 145.7 passer rating
- Beating the 2001 Steelers in Pittsburgh with three TDs, two by the special teams on one by Drew Bledsoe
- Holding the Greatest Show on Turf Rams to 14 points
- Holding postseason opponents to 17 or fewer points 16 times in this era, and to 10 or fewer points five times
- Knocking seven different MVPs out of the postseason, including six QBs (Kurt Warner, Manning twice, Steve McNair, Matt Ryan, Patrick Mahomes) and one RB (LaDainlian Tomlinson).
- And this, the most significant play of the 55-year Super Bowl era, which rebooted one dynasty and killed another in the nest:
Happy anniversary, by the way. I'm not ashamed to say I cried pints that night.
Yes, Brady was transcendent in that game. He had four touchdown passes to four different receivers, including two in the 4th quarter. Against the same defense that held the most prolific offense in history to 8 points the Super Bowl before. But this moment was created by Belichick's staff, scouting, breaking down film, recognizing this exact formation by Seattle and being ready in the moment to execute the perfect adjustment.
Which is the part of what Amendola said that will be largely ignored, but is as completely true as the rest of it.
As far as how "The Patriot Way" should have a picture of Brady next to it? No offense meant, none taken. If there's one person in the world who has no use for that term, it's Bill "The Sometime Asshole" Belichick himself. Any time he's ever been asked about it, he stares daggers at the questioner and reminds them that he's never used those words in a sentence and doesn't know what they mean. So go ahead and put whatever you want on The Patriot Way Wikipedia page. You'll get no argument from him.
But so much for any talk about Amendola coming back to New England. Damned shame because I would've loved to see him back. But it sounds like that ship has sailed.