When veteran slot wide receiver Danny Amendola caught every pass thrown to him with one touchdown Sunday during his Texans debut, it didn't surprise his new employers.
Signed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract last week, Amendola quickly got up to speed on a playbook that had no shortage of familiarity from his days with the New England Patriots.
The Woodlands graduate and former Texas Tech standout was targeted five times and had five catches for 34 yards and one score during a 37-21 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Not at all," Texans coach David Culley said when asked if he was surprised by how immediately Amendola was a factor in the Texans' passing game. "Guy’s been in this league 14 years, been a part of Super Bowl champion football teams. He’s a football player. I mean, this guy lives and breathes and wakes up, it’s about football.
"I asked him what he’d been doing before he got here, he says, ‘I’ve been working out, I’ve been waiting on this opportunity.’ And what was good for us was that this is an offense that he’s familiar with, he’s been a part of this offense before and it was an easy adjustment for him to just step right in there. And what he did in the game, we expected him to do. That’s what he’s been doing his whole career.”
The 35-year-old now has 598 career receptions 5,998 yards and 22 touchdowns.
"When you play in this game that long, and being in this offense before, you talk about a guy that's a playmaker," said wide receiver Brandin Cooks, Amendola's former New England teammate who caught five passes for 132 yards. "He's been a playmaker all his career, no matter where he lined up. He stepped in the room, he's going to make an impact right away. A lot of respect for Danny, and I think he showed that as well.”
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.