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Danny Amendola Hopes Solid Season Has Cemented Spot

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  • Danny Amendola Hopes Solid Season Has Cemented Spot

    Danny Amendola hopes solid season has cemented spot
    BY BILL COATS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    01/02/2010

    The Rams' leading ground gainer this season is …

    No, it's not Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson, who has piled up 1,675 yards (1,353 rushing and 322 receiving).

    Danny Amendola has Jackson beat … by a lot.

    Amendola has gobbled up 2,100 yards of real estate — 1,507 on 61 kickoff returns (both franchise records), 287 on 26 punt returns, 308 on 40 receptions, and minus 2 on three carries.

    He's amassed those numbers in just 13 games since the Rams signed him off Philadelphia's practice squad Sept. 22. And he has one more chance, Sunday's season finale against visiting San Francisco, to add to them.

    The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Texas Tech product, who joined the Eagles as an undrafted rookie, has taken a pounding. But he isn't complaining.

    "I'm definitely sore," he acknowledged Friday after the team's last full practice of the season. "That's what the NFL's all about. You play 16 games, and it's a grind. But that's what the people want to see, and it's fun."

    Amendola has been effective on returns, with solid averages of 24.7 yards on kickoffs and 11.0 yards on punts. That came as no surprise, coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

    "We certainly knew that he was a good returner," he said. "I think he's really surfaced as a guy we rely on in the pass game a little bit. He finds ways to get open."

    Only Jackson (51) and fellow wide receiver Donnie Avery (45) have more catches than Amendola.

    "I could have done some better things, but I've definitely improved since I first stepped on the field at receiver when I got here," he said. "You've got to give credit to the coaching staff for helping me do so."

    Asked whether he felt that he carved out a spot for himself on the team, Amendola said, "In a way, yeah. I definitely feel like I got a lot of experience, which has helped me a lot. But ... I've got a job to lose, and I'm going to try to go all out" to prevent that.

    PRIDE OF RAYTOWN

    Another undrafted rookie — the Rams have eight on their 53-man roster — will get his first start Sunday, and he'll have plenty of friends and family members here to witness it.

    "I'll have a nice little support huddle in the stands," said Roger Allen, who will line up at left guard in place of the injured Mark Setterstrom. Allen hails from the Kansas City suburb of Raytown, and his phone has been ringing all week.

    "I'm sure even more will be calling up with ticket requests," he said. "I bought a few in advance."

    Allen, an NCAA Division II All-American at Missouri Western State, was among the inactives for the first 13 games. He saw his first action last Sunday, after Setterstrom tore his left triceps late in the first half.

    This week, Allen worked almost exclusively with the first unit. "I'm pretty excited," he said. "But I just try not to think about it too much, because that's when the nerves kick in. I try to think of it as just another game."

    NULL HOPES TO START

    Spagnuolo still isn't budging on announcing his quarterback choice, but rookie Keith Null took all but a couple of reps with the first team Friday. It would be a shock if he didn't make his fourth start in a row Sunday.

    Admittedly disappointed in his play last week in a 31-10 defeat at Arizona, Null is eager to make amends.

    "That's definitely what I want to do. I want to have another chance to get out there and end the year on a good note," he said. "Really, for this whole team to end on a good note, go out there and get a win this last game."

    INJURY REPORT

    Jackson (back) and defensive Leonard Little (knee) sat out practice Friday and were listed as questionable on the injury report. Linebacker Paris Lenon (toe) did light work and also was questionable.

    Limited Friday but listed as probable were wide receiver Donnie Avery (thigh), linebacker James Laurinaitis (knee) and defensive end Chris Long (hamstring). Tackle Jason Smith (concussion) is doubtful, and cornerback Quincy Butler (knee, ankle) is out.

    RAM-BLINGS

    The NFL fined rookie defensive tackle Darell Scott $5,000 for his roughing-the-passer penalty on Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner. … The ***** have prevailed in their last three meetings with the Rams, including a 35-0 spanking Oct. 4 at Candlestick Park. … Frisco has 15 takeaways in its last three games.

  • #2
    Re: Danny Amendola Hopes Solid Season Has Cemented Spot

    If it were up to me, Danny has a spot down for sure. The dude has won me over this season and I'm even contemplating making a custom Amendola sweatshirt. More importantly though, he's shown his worth both as a kick and punt returner plus he's been a viable 3rd down target.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Danny Amendola Hopes Solid Season Has Cemented Spot

      Originally posted by Warner4prez View Post
      If it were up to me, Danny has a spot down for sure. The dude has won me over this season and I'm even contemplating making a custom Amendola sweatshirt. More importantly though, he's shown his worth both as a kick and punt returner plus he's been a viable 3rd down target.
      definantly... he'd be a perfect fit for us next year especially considering his ability to have a effect on Special Teams...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Danny Amendola Hopes Solid Season Has Cemented Spot

        I love tis kid and is one of the few brights spots in a very dreary season....

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Danny Amendola Hopes Solid Season Has Cemented Spot

          Amendola represents the grit and tenacity needed to turn this thing around; a guy who gets the most out of his ability. Hopefully he improves yet again and turns into an even better option.

          Comment

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          • r8rh8rmike
            Amendola Gives Rams Return On Investment
            by r8rh8rmike
            Amendola gives Rams return on investment
            BY BILL COATS
            ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
            10/17/2009

            When he wakes up on Mondays now, Danny Amendola is sore all over. That's a good thing, he explained, because it means he's playing football on Sundays.

            "It feels good to be beat up again," Amendola said. "It's been a year and a half."

            The Rams signed the 5-foot-11, 183-pound Amendola off Philadelphia's practice squad Sept. 22 and immediately assigned him to return punts and kicks. Because of injuries to the corps of wideouts, he has also been thrust into the mix on offense.

            "It's baptism by fire, because we had to get him some wide receiver reps in just his second game," coach Steve Spagnuolo noted. "But he's a pretty sharp guy."

            Amendola had one reception for 8 yards at San Francisco, followed by a five-catch, 43-yard outing last week vs. Minnesota. He's averaging 7.6 yards on five punt returns and 22.4 yards on 18 kickoff returns.

            Asked whether he preferred catching or returning, Amendola, 23, said, "I like being on the field in any way possible. Whatever way it is, hopefully I can make some plays in both areas."

            Until the Rams grabbed him, Amendola hadn't seen game action since Jan. 1, 2008, when he helped Texas Tech to a 31-28 Gator Bowl victory over Virginia at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium — site of the Rams' game Sunday against the Jaguars.

            As a senior, Amendola hauled in 103 passes — the fourth-highest total in the nation — for 1,177 yards and five touchdowns. But like fellow Red Raiders wideout and former teammate Wes Welker, Amendola was passed over in the draft.

            Dallas brought him in as a rookie free agent, and he spent the season on the practice squad. The Eagles signed him last January.

            With the Rams, Amendola finally is getting an opportunity to show his stuff in the regular season. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said Amendola "has done a nice job for us. He's quick, he finds a way to separate, he can run real well, and he's a tough guy. We feel good about him."

            INJURY UPDATES

            Safety James Butler (knee) and wide receiver Ruvell Martin (hamstring) were listed as doubtful Friday on the final injury report of the week, meaning they're unlikely to suit up Sunday. Safety Anthony Smith (Achilles tendon) was questionable. Quarterback Kyle Boller (concussion) and defensive ends Leonard Little (illness) and C.J. Ah You (illness) were probable.

            GOLDBERG STARTS

            Spagnuolo said that Adam Goldberg would start again at right tackle but that rookie Jason Smith "is going to see some playing time." Smith, who suffered a knee injury late in the first half Sept. 20 at Washington, got in for two snaps on special teams last Sunday.

            Rookie cornerback...
            -10-17-2009, 08:27 PM
          • 01d 0rd3r
            Amendolla pinballs into the record books.
            by 01d 0rd3r
            By Nick Wagoner
            Senior Writer

            The Rams were just two games into the season and they found themselves banged up at receiver and looking for someone to inject life into a sagging return game.

            In Danny Amendola, they hoped to find an answer for at least one of those questions. What they might not have expected was a cure for the ailing return unit and a surprise contributor to the offense. In Amendola, they found both.

            “Danny has been great,” special teams coach Tom McMahon said. “Danny has toughness, and that’s the biggest quality that I see in him. And, he’s a pro, he always spends extra time, and the guys see that, and they block harder for him. When you’ve got a guy who is putting in extra time, the other guys perform harder.”

            Since signing with the team on Sept. 22, Amendola has been one of the more pleasant surprises of the 2009 season. For a team that has repeatedly gone to the well in search of someone who can stick, Amendola has perhaps been the most consistent contributor to the team on a weekly basis.

            “Personally, I was just trying to come in and fill a role and do what I do to help the team in any which way,” Amendola said. “It’s been fun getting in there.”

            Upon his signing, Amendola’s foremost job was to help on special teams where he was immediately plugged in as the starting kickoff and punt returner.

            After bouncing around some from Philadelphia’s practice squad this season and the same role in Dallas the year before, Amendola made his NFL regular season debut on Sept. 27 against Green Bay.

            Amendola went right to work, returning eight kickoffs in his debut for 187 yards. The eight returns were tied for the most in franchise history. He also returned a pair of punts for 23 yards. All in all, not a bad first day of work.

            Since, Amendola has made a statement about his ability to return kicks in the NFL. IN last week’s game against Houston, Amendola five kicks for 159 yards. In the process, he set the Rams season mark for return yards at 1,435 yards. That bests the previous mark of 1,379 yards held by Tony Horne from 2000.

            This week, four kick returns for Amendola would push him past Drew Hill for the most returns in a season by a Ram.

            Impressive numbers sure, but ones that Amendola doesn’t spend much time worrying about.

            “I didn’t even know that,” Amendola said. “That’s great I guess. At the end of the day, I just want to get more wins. That’s all I can really say.”

            The always humble Amendola joins some pretty impressive company among players that have held the return duties in Rams history. Although the past few years haven’t provided much in the way of spark in the return game, there is a long line of guys who have done it and done it well in team history.

            Horne, Az-Zahir Hakim, Hill and Dante Hall are among the most accomplished...
            -12-24-2009, 07:21 PM
          • MauiRam
            Small in stature, Amendola coming up big for Rams ..
            by MauiRam
            BY BILL COATS • Friday, October 8, 2010

            Asked to describe Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola in one word, running back Steven Jackson replied, "Feisty."

            "Electric," said wideout Mark Clayton.

            "Quick," said fullback Mike Karney.

            "Tenacious," said wideout Brandon Gibson.

            "Energetic," said quarterback Sam Bradford.

            "Special," said wideout Laurent Robinson.

            "Competitive," said offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

            Amendola laughed when asked to portray himself in one word. "What did the others say?" he asked before finally settling on "effort."

            All are apt adjectives for Amendola, who although he's listed at 5 feet 11 and 186 pounds admitted that he's actually 5-10 and 180. He's the Rams' second-leading receiver, with 21 catches for 208 yards, heading into Sunday's game at Detroit.

            Still, one more word is needed to complete the Amendola outline: "tough."

            "You know what, that's probably the word I would've picked before 'quick,' how tough he is," Karney said. "He'll take some big hits out there. The guy's got a lot of guts."

            Robinson called Amendola "the toughest little guy I've seen. Doesn't care about anything. Just one tough guy."

            Added coach Steve Spagnuolo: "He's off the charts there, in everything he does. ... Walking in the hallway, he looks tough."

            Always 'a handful'

            Willie Amendola chuckled at the various depictions of the youngest of his two sons. "He's been like that since the day he was born, believe me," he said. "He was a handful when he was little."

            Growing up in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, Danny was what his father termed a "tag-along kind of guy." Brother Matt was 5 years older, and Danny constantly was in competition with bigger boys.

            "He learned to defend himself," Willie Amendola said.

            Or as Weldon Willig, who coached both Amendola brothers at The Woodlands High, put it, "Younger brothers get to be tougher, because they have the hell beat out of them every day as they're growing up."

            Willie Amendola is the head football coach and athletics director at Dekaney High in Houston. After a long day at practice, he faced the daunting challenge of putting young Danny down for the night.

            "Couldn't get him to bed," Willie recalled. "You'd have to chase him around the house, and I couldn't catch him. We used to do what we called race to bed. So wherever he was, 'I'll race you to bed.'

            "One day he leaped from the doorway over the bed and put his head right through the headboard. Didn't blink an eye."

            Danny...
            -10-08-2010, 01:26 AM
          • MauiRam
            Amendola Providing Happy Returns ..
            by MauiRam
            By Nick Wagoner
            Senior Writer

            In their long search to find a solid kick and punt returner capable of improving field position, the Rams hoped to overturn a diamond in the rough when they signed Danny Amendola from Philadelphia’s practice squad on Sept. 22.

            The Rams wasted no time in throwing Amendola into the fire, placing him on the field after just three practices as a Ram. Not only did Amendola immediately handle the punt and kick return duties but he also got thrown right into the mix at receiver in his second game.

            And so far, at least, Amendola has been everything the Rams had hoped.

            “It's baptism by fire, because we had to get him some wide receiver reps in just his second game,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “But he's a pretty sharp guy.”

            Indeed, Amendola has picked up the system with little trouble. Although that was expected because he came from a system in Philadelphia that is nearly identical to the Rams’, Amendola’s production has still been a bit of a pleasant surprise.

            After catching one pass for 8 yards in his first two weeks, Amendola has posted 13 catches for 103 yards in the past three weeks and has proved to be a reliable target for quarterback Marc Bulger on third down and an adept runner after the catch with his penchant for taking quick screens and gaining extra yards after the reception.

            “Yeah, that’s what I set out to do. In every situation I have been in, I have tried to make the most of my opportunities wherever I go,” Amendola said. “It’s progressing. I think I have improved in a lot of areas. I am excited.”

            Of course, Amendola’s production as a slot receiver could simply be viewed as an added bonus to the boost he’s given to the team’s previously lacking return game.

            Amendola is averaging 24.3 yards per kick return on 29 attempts with a long of 58. He also had a long return brought back by penalty in San Francisco. And on eight punt returns, he is getting 8.1 yards per try.

            “There’s a lot coach (Tom) McMahon has helped me learn about setting up blocks and stuff, especially on kickoff return,” Amendola said. “That’s a big reason we have been successful. I have learned a lot since I got here.”

            Amendola is likely to continue to figure more prominently in the passing game each week and will certainly continue to get opportunities as the returner.

            “I always have something to prove,” Amendola said. “I think there will be some long returns to come and I am looking forward to them. We are just on the brink of breaking one so it will be nice when it happens.”

            IN A SNAP: Speaking of special teams, this week will be the first time in eight years the Rams have had someone other than Chris Massey enter the game as a long snapper.

            Massey suffered a season-ending ACL injury against the Colts last week and the Rams...
            -10-31-2009, 01:44 PM
          • r8rh8rmike
            No Slowing Amendola Now That He's Healthy
            by r8rh8rmike
            No slowing Amendola now that he's healthy

            BY DAN O'NEILL
            August 17, 2012

            Isaac Newton's first law of physics says a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Danny Amendola offers corroborating evidence.

            The Rams receiver is, if nothing else, a body in motion, a veritable fruit fly on a football field. But after establishing his energetic presence with the Rams in 2010, the Texas Tech product was acted upon by an outside force. During the 2011 season-opening loss to the Eagles, Amendola suffered an injury that materialized as a dislocated left elbow. The body in motion came to rest for the remaining 15 games of the season.

            For Amendola, it was cruel and unusual punishment, like closing the gate on a thoroughbred as the rest of the horses galloped down the track. Sunday, almost a year later, Amendola played two series and caught one pass for 6 yards in an exhibition loss at Indianapolis.

            The performance was short on action but long on symbolic value. The body is back in motion.

            "It had been a while since I had been out there competing," Amendola, 26, said. "It was good to get back out there, good to get tackled, good to hit someone again. ... It was fun."

            If you know anything about Amendola, you know he thrives on the three C's — contact, competition and camaraderie. Injuries and idleness were not on his bucket list.

            The elbow problem, which he aggravated by trying to practice, "was kind of a freak injury and there's nothing I could do about it," Amendola said. "I understand injuries are part of the game and things like that happen, but ...

            "I'm good now. It was a bad injury but it's not anything that lingers or is threatening. I'm 100 percent."

            Amendola is probably the only receiver in Rams camp who has his ticket punched. Perhaps generously listed at 5 feet 11, 188 pounds, the Mighty Mite emerged as a go-to guy for rookie quarterback Sam Bradford in 2010. Amendola caught 85 passes for 689 yards and three touchdowns, and 29 of those receptions came on third downs.

            He also is important to the Rams' special teams, an Allstate kick returner whose good hands were sorely missed. Amendola led the NFL in combined kick and punt return attempts in 2009 and 2010. And while Martha White is the one all-purpose flour, Amendola is the one all-purpose receiver. His 2,364 all-purpose yards led the league in 2010.

            Like his fellow campers, the perpetual motion pass catcher is learning the language and schemes of new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. It shouldn't be too difficult for Amendola to forget what he learned from the departed Josh McDaniels' program — he hardly had a chance to use it. Regardless, nimble No. 16 likes the makeover.

            "It's a tough offense to get,"...
            -08-18-2012, 11:26 AM
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