FOXBORO -- Danny Amendola couldn't hold back his smile.
The Patriots receiver had just been told by a reporter that Tom Brady, moments earlier, referred to him as "uncoverable." There may be no greater compliment for someone who plays Amendola's position.
"Whatever Tom says," Amendola replied, beaming.
Brady had a point. Amendola has caught 23 of the 27 targets sent his way this season, and among receivers with at least 20 targets this season, Amendola has the league's best catch percentage.
He's on pace for an 86-catch, 1,000-yard season -- both of which would be career-highs.
"He’s had such a great year," Brady said. "I mean, I can’t say enough good things about Danny and everything he’s meant to our offense. I mean, he’s so tough and, to me, he’s uncoverable. You turn on the tape, he’s getting away from people, no matter what the route, no matter who’s on him, no matter what’s called, leverage, distance of the route."
With Julian Edelman out, Amendola has been on the receiving end of some of Brady's quicker-hitting passes. He's also become one of Brady's security blankets in gotta-have-it spots, converting seven third downs in four games played, which is tied (with Rob Gronkowski, Larry Fitzgerald and others) for fourth-most in the league.
"I think Danny’s kind of always found his role in the things we’ve asked him to do," Brady said. "He’s still in that role, and he’s doing a great job of it. I mean, he’s doing as good as he possibly can. I don’t think anyone could do better than what Danny’s doing."
Against Tampa Bay, Amendola caught all eight of his official targets for 77 yards and he picks up five first downs. He also returned three punts for 51 yards, and his 40-yard return may have gone for more had he not been run into by teammate Brandon Bolden.
"I thought Danny gave us a lot of critical plays in the game," Bill Belichick said on Friday. "He gave us punt returns, some catches and he blocked well. He had a couple of key blocks in the running game, as well, so I thought he really did a solid job for us in all the areas, in all of the things that he was asked to do, which he usually does. He's one of our best and most dependable players."
Brady clearly feels the same way about the 5-foot-10, 185-pound pass-catcher.
"He’s just been so great for us this year," Brady said. "I’m going to try to keep finding him because when you have that kind of trust, when you see it play after play after play -- you know, you’re the quarterback. You’ve got one ball. It goes to the guy who’s open, and Danny’s always finding a way to get open."