Here we go again: Another player slams Patriots' 'principal' Bill Belichick

Receiver Danny Amendola signed a free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins earlier this year, after five seasons with the New England Patriots.

Originally signed in 2013 to be the replacement for Wes Welker, Amendola wasn’t exactly the reception machine Welker was in his time with the Patriots, but he certainly had his moments for the team, particularly in the postseason, and got to go to the Super Bowl three times, winning twice.

Yet Amendola now seems like he wasn’t a big fan of coach Bill Belichick.

‘It’s almost like you’ve got a principal’

Appearing on Barstool Sports’ Comeback SZN podcast, Amendola compared Belichick and his new head coach, Adam Gase.

“One of the boys”: Dolphins receiver Danny Amendola, left, describes head coach Adam Gase as the opposite of New England head coach Bill Belichick. (AP)
“One of the boys”: Dolphins receiver Danny Amendola, left, describes head coach Adam Gase as the opposite of New England head coach Bill Belichick. (AP)

Coach Gase is one of the guys, one of the boys, and you want to fight hard for your boys,” Amendola said. “Back in New England, it’s almost like you’ve got a principal, the principal’s office and (expletive) like that.”

Amendola, who will turn 33-years-old in November, and Gase are certainly closer in age than Belichick and Amendola (Gase is 40; Belichick is 66), and Belichick’s coaching approach is not exactly warm and fuzzy.

But Amendola clearly prefers Gase’s style.

“It’s worked out amazing,” he said of signing with Miami. “All the guys are cool. The team is cool, my group is cool. The coaches are awesome. Coach Gase is one of the guys. He’s our leader, he’s our head coach, but he’s also our boy. So it’s cool. It’s refreshing to have that kind of relationship with a coach, something I haven’t had in a long time.

“I Facetimed coach Gase yesterday just to…talk to him. I was talking to his kids. I have a relationship with him that’s real unique, something I haven’t had in a while.”

It doesn’t usually work out well when players see their head coach as a peer.

Respect is there

Amendola did call Belichick “the greatest coach of all time,” so he does respect the seven-time Super Bowl-winning coach. And Belichick’s my-way-or-the-highway style isn’t for every player. But there’s no debating that he gets results, both from players and from his teams; the NFL’s longest-tenured head coach has gotten the Patriots to the playoffs 15 times in 18 seasons, including seven Super Bowl appearances.

New England has been to the AFC championship game each of the last seven seasons.

Could have left sooner

Amendola is of course entitled to his opinion, and maybe the difference between Belichick and Gase is so stark it’s hard for him not to make the comparison, but if the receiver was so unhappy, he could have left New England sooner.

Amendola took pay cuts in three consecutive offseasons with the Patriots; after the last one, in 2017, he explained that he did so because, “I love playing for this city; I love playing for this team; I love the atmosphere Coach (Belichick) brings when we walk into the building every day.”

Which, obviously, is quite different than the tune he’s singing now.

Had he declined any of those pay cuts, Amendola likely would have been released and gotten the opportunity to play for another team.

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