New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola came into the league as an undrafted, scrappy slot receiver who became a consistent, reliable weapon for the St. Louis Rams once given a chance. He’s one of those players who worked hard to get to where he is after being under-appreciated for various amounts of time, and those are the kinds of players we tend to root for. So that’s why it’s interesting but also not surprising to read that Amendola’s favorite player growing up was New York Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet.
Here’s what Danny Amendola said to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss in this week’s “Football journey”, “He was a smaller, scrappy guy, kind of like myself. I just related to that.”
It’s pretty awesome to learn that Amendola’s favorite player growing up was Chrebet, who is similar to Amendola in a few respects. Chrebet went undrafted like Amendola and became a highly-regarded player in the league due to his hands, scrappiness, and ability to get open. He spent his entire 11-year career with the New York Jets and was a fan favorite who is the Jets second-leading receiver in franchise history. Chrebet caught 41 career touchdown passes, had seven seasons with at least 50 receptions, and he has the third-most receptions among undrafted players.
At 5’10”, Chrebet was denied entrance to Jets training camp on his first day, because he was deemed too short to be a football player by a security guard. That’s how he started, and he ended up being one of the most consistent and reliable receivers in the game. As long as Amendola is able to stay healthy (that’s been a tough task in his first season with the Patriots), he should be able to accomplish those feats. Amendola’s toughness is unquestioned (just re-watch Week 1 again), and he has all the tools to be a reliable, No. 1 target for Tom Brady in the Patriots offense.
And yes, Amendola and Chrebet are two of my favorite NFL players of all time.