Josh McDaniels likened Danny Amendola to a rookie

Patriots receiver Danny Amendola was expected to step into New England's slot receiver role and fill the void Wes Welker left behind when he departed for Denver.

But injuries and average play hampered Amendola's season to where the veteran out of Texas Tech caught 54 passes for 633 yards and only two touchdowns.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels told The Boston Globe that one of Amendola's problems revolved around not having a complete understanding of the offense fully in his first season with the organization.

“Danny’s not dissimilar to the rookies,” McDaniels said. “He wasn’t here before, and he had an opportunity to get a foundation and a system last year. And now it’s his second year, and it will be exciting to see Danny’s growth. Any time you’re in your second year in a system, you’re more comfortable."

If Amendola can stay injury-free (easier said than done) then he could very well be productive in New England's offense. Though compared to Welker at times, Amendola's best season came with the Rams in 2010, when he had 85 catches for 689 yards and three touchdowns. Those are hardly world-beating numbers for a guy expected to become a dangerous slot presence for Tom Brady.

Amendola told The Globe that all he can do is focus on the future, as dwelling on previous injuries and misfortunes won't get him anywhere.

“I don’t make any excuses,” Amendola told the newspaper. “Just try to play the best I can, every game.”

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