As Danny Amendola says goodbye to New England and hello to Miami, he has plenty to say about his old team.
Amendola offered a complicated opinion of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, whom he refers to as the “best coach to ever coach the game” but also as a difficult person to have as a boss.
“It’s not easy, that’s for sure. He’s an a–hole sometimes,” Amendola told Mike Reis of ESPN. “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 [Super Bowl] ring ceremony, that it wasn’t easy playing for him. The silver lining was that we were at the ring ceremony.”
The Patriots won’t have a ring ceremony this year, and Amendola seems to wonder if Belichick’s benching of cornerback Malcolm Butler is the reason for that.
“I have my thoughts about it because I was out there putting my blood, sweat and tears out on the field that night, and one of our best players wasn’t on the field,” Amendola said. “To tell you the truth, I don’t know why. I did ask, but I didn’t get any answers. I can’t make decisions like that, so I don’t necessarily worry about it, but I know Malcolm is a great player and he could have helped us win. For whatever reason, he wasn’t out there. He’s going to play more football in his career, and he’s going to be a great player for a long time.”
Amendola said he felt hurt to see a player he’d worked with through the years standing on the sideline.
“Nobody really got an explanation for it,” Amendola said. “He’s a brother of ours. He was a brother of ours that year. And I hate to see a guy who worked so hard throughout the season not get a chance to play in the biggest game of the year and really get no explanation for it. With that said, I don’t know how the business aspect went into that decision. I don’t know how the personal aspect went into that decision between him and Bill. But as a friend, I would have loved to see him on the field that day.”
Amendola may not be the only Patriot who felt like Belichick was an a–hole in his dealing with Butler, though the ones still in New England are keeping quiet about it.