Not even a year after joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, Tom Brady is already preparing to lead the team onto the field for the Super Bowl: the future Hall of Famer, who started all 19 of the Buccaneers’ games so far this season, took them to an 11-5 record and three straight road victories in the playoffs to advance to the title game.
Brady’s former team, meanwhile, will have to watch the game from at home. The New England Patriots went just 7-9 in Year One after his departure. For ex-Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, who spent the 2020 season with the Detroit Lions but is headed for unrestricted free agency in March, this outcome was no surprise.
Amendola appeared on FOX Sports’ First Things First on Monday, and sang Brady’s praises when asked whether or not players would have a harder time buying into New England’s system with him no longer around.
“When you see ‘Patriot Way’ in the dictionary, it’s going to have Tom Brady’s pic next to it,” Amendola said. “None of those coaches threw any passes. None of those coaches caught any passes. None of those coaches made any tackles. They got guys in the right position because they watch a lot of film and they spend all their time at the facility. But Tom Brady is the ‘Patriot Way,’ and that’s the reason why Tom Brady’s in the Super Bowl right now and the Patriots aren’t.”
Amendola certainly knows a thing or two about the Patriots: he appeared in 69 regular season games and 13 playoff contests for the team between 2013 and 2017, and won two Super Bowls with the organization. Along the way, he caught a combined 287 passes for 3,092 yards and 18 touchdowns — earning the nickname “Danny Playoff” in the process.
That nickname, by the way, was given to him by another former Patriot now getting ready for the Super Bowl as a Buccaneer: Rob Gronkowski.