This past NFL free agency was a head spin with players all over the league leaving for new teams. One of those occurrences was when veteran Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola left to join division rival Miami Dolphins. The move at the time seemed predictable; Amendola wanted more money and the Dolphins had more to give. They also needed a replacement for the recently traded Jarvis Landry. The sadness around New England eventually faded and fans became at peace with the fact they lost their “lady killer number 80”. However, recently Amendola appeared on the Comeback Szn podcast. There he talked about how much he fell for third-year head coach, Adam Gase.
To quote Amendola, “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.” This is definitely an interesting remark, especially when you compare the Patriots and the Dolphins records throughout Coach Gase’s two years in Miami. While having “one of the guys” as a coach probably leads to more enjoyable practices, the results show. Miami went 10-6 in his first season (with a playoff elimination in the wildcard to Pittsburgh) and a 180 year to going 6-10 the following year. So it really is a tossup what Amendola and the Dolphins can expect going into the new season.
In contrast, it seems that having a principal garnishes better results. The Patriots finished 2016 with a 14-2 record and winning the Superbowl in their miraculous comeback against Atlanta. They then finished 13-3 last year and still making the big game even if it resulted in a loss.
Obviously, Amendola wasn’t trying to slander how New England’s football team is operated. He later stated “I got to play for the greatest coach of all time, the greatest quarterback of all time and one of the greatest owners of all time. I got to understand what it was like to put the work in and really grind out … and learn how to win.” Danny put up some of his best numbers during his time in New England, having 600+ yards in three seasons, (via profootballreference.com) winning two super bowls, playing in three super bowls, and not to mention being in the playoffs every season he was there.
Looking ahead to the upcoming season:
How will all of that translate through to the next season? It’s a safe guess to say the Patriots will have another plus .500 record, anywhere from 12-4 to 14-2. History has shown over the past eight years the principal and his top student, Brady, are still top dogs. However, trying to look at what record the Dolphins could finish with is a different story as there are many factors. This includes Tannehill’s ability post-ACL tear, how their lackluster star player skill position group will hold, etc. It’s a stretch to say they could go even with the Pat’s at 12-4 or 14-2. The possibility of another 10-6 season is definitely not out of grasps. There’s clearly chemistry already with Amendola and Gase, which is a good sign in this league. Chemistry aside, all we can do now is see if that chemistry and friendship will lead to wins come September.