The Patriots stars have taken what some consider thinly veiled (see video above) and not-so-thinly veiled shots at their head coach this offseason.
A former Patriot, Danny Amendola, straight up calls Bill Belichick a bad word, but he means it in a good way.
In an exclusive interview with ESPN's Mike Reiss as he returned to the Boston area for a charity event this weekend, Amendola, who last month signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins, says of playing for Belichick:
“It’s not easy, that’s for sure. He’s an a–hole sometimes. There were a lot of things I didn’t like about playing for him, but I must say, the things I didn’t like were all in regards to getting the team better, and I respected him. I didn’t like practicing in the snow, I didn’t like practicing in the rain, but that was going to make us a better football team and that was going to make me a better football player. It wasn’t easy, and he’d be the first to admit, at the [Super Bowl] ring ceremony, that it wasn’t easy playing for him. The silver lining was that we were at the ring ceremony.”
Here's an Instagram video of part of the conversation, via @espnnfl:
In addition to being a not-so-nice word sometimes, Amendola also calls Belichick "the best coach to ever coach the game."
Danny Amendola, a newly-minted Miami Dolphin, opened up about Bill Belichick's decision to bench Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII.
In an exclusive interview with ESPN's Mike Reiss, Amendola weighed in on the puzzling situation.
"I have my thoughts about it because I was out there putting my blood, sweat and tears out on the field that night, and one of our best players wasn't on the field," Amendola told ESPN. "To tell you the truth, I don't know why. I did ask, but I didn't get any answers. I can't make decisions like that, so I don't necessarily worry about it, but I know Malcolm is a great player and he could have helped us win. For whatever reason, he wasn't out there. He's going to play more football in his career, and he's going to be a great player for a long time."
Butler spent the entire season as the team's No. 1 or No. 2 cornerback, and logged 97 percent of New England's defensive snaps. But he didn't get a single defensive snap in Super Bowl LII, and got just one snap on special teams. The reason for the benching was a football decision, according to Belichick and Butler.
In a game where the winner was determined on the final possession, it's fair to wonder whether Butler might have changed the outcome of the game. Butler seemed to think he could have. Amendola was asked if he sensed Butler's benching hurt his Patriots teammates.
"Yeah, I did, honestly," Amendola told ESPN. "Nobody really got an explanation for it. He's a brother of ours. He was a brother of ours that year. And I hate to see a guy who worked so hard throughout the season not get a chance to play in the biggest game of the year and really get no explanation for it. With that said, I don't know how the business aspect went into that decision. I don't know how the personal aspect went into that decision between him and Bill. But as a friend, I would have loved to see him on the field that day."
It's another free-agent loss for the Patriots as cornerback and key special teams player Johnson Bademosi has agreed to a two-year, $6.25 contract with the Houston Texans, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Bademosi, who turns 28 in August, saw plenty of time in the secondary in the Super Bowl loss to the Eagles with the benching of Malcolm Butler. He joined the Patriots in a trade from the Detroit Lions on Sept. 2, 2017, in exchange for a 2019 sixth-round draft pick.
Bademosi joins left tackle Nate Solder (Giants), cornerback Malcolm Butler (Titans), running back Dion Lewis (Titans) and wide receiver Danny Amendola (Dolphins) as recent free-agent departures from New England.