Bill Belichick gives Danny Amendola special praise after wideout's retirement

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Belichick gives Amendola special praise after wide receiver's retirement originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Danny Amendola was never the best pass-catcher on the New England Patriots during his time with the franchise, but he was tough, clutch and often raised his performance when it mattered most.

The 36-year-old wide receiver announced his retirement earlier this week. He played for the Patriots from 2013 through 2017 and helped them win two Super Bowl titles (2014 and 2016).

"Love Danny," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday during his training camp press conference. "He was a very good player for us, had a lot of skill. Mostly played inside but could play outside, could return. Very smart, tough, dependable. Great hands and concentration. Good football player. Glad we had him here, and he certainly was a big contributor for us while he was here. He missed a little time, but he was out there every chance he could be. He was tough. He was a good football player."

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Amendola tallied 57 receptions for 709 yards and six touchdowns in 13 career playoff games. His performance in the 2017 AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars was incredible. He caught seven passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner late in the fourth quarter. Amendola converted a 3rd-and-18 earlier in the second half.

“Very dependable, and he was tough, he’d block,” Belichick said of Amendola. “We’ve been very fortunate to have some good players at that position. Troy (Brown) was as good as it could be. It’s hard to match Troy -- and it is hard to match Troy, it’s really impossible -- but Wes (Welker) did a great job for us. Danny came in. Julian (Edelman), Jakobi (Meyers). Guys that have played in that spot have been different, but they’ve all been productive and they’ve all brought some of the same common characteristics to the inside receiver position. It’s been a very productive spot for us through the years."

In addition to his 2017 AFC title game effort, Amendola also caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIX versus the Seattle Seahawks and scored the game-tying two-point conversion against the Atlanta Falcons during the historic Super Bowl LI comeback.

Amendola played a key role on those Dynasty 2.0 teams with his clutch play and toughness.