Rams’ Danny Amendola could be handful for Bears
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org September 21, 2012 10:00PM
Rams receiver Danny Amendola caught 15 passes for 160 yards last Sunday against the Redskins. | Seth Perlman~AP
Updated: October 23, 2012 6:10AM
When he headed to the locker room at halftime Sunday, St. Louis Rams receiver Danny Amendola only cared about two numbers: 21-16.
That was the score, and the Washington Redskins had the bigger number. He didn’t find out until after the game that he tied an NFL record with 12 first-half receptions.
“It wasn’t something I was worried about,” Amendola said. “It might have been a reporter who told me the numbers, and I was like, ‘That’s cool.’ ”
Undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2008, Amendola spent time on the practice squads of the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles before the Rams signed him to their active roster in 2009.
He caught 43 passes that season, then caught 85 for 689 yards in 2010. But he suffered a season-ending elbow injury in the 2011 opener.
Now he’s among the league leaders through two games, thanks to his 15-catch, 160-yard performance in the Rams’ 31-28 comeback win over the Redskins.
Asked why he has emerged, Amendola said, “I don’t know. All I can really control is just showing up to work every day and work hard and try to get better. I want to find a role on my team that I can fulfill.”
Amendola said a key was ensuring that 2011 wasn’t wasted just because he was injured.
“I got a chance to get in the film room and learn more about the game,” he said. “So it was an unfortunate situation to be out for the whole year, but it doesn’t mean I couldn’t get better.”
Bears nickel back D.J. Moore figures to match up with Amendola. Moore declined to comment Friday, but Amendola said he respects Moore.
“He’s instinctive, he’s quick. He looks like a good player,” Amendola said. “I’ve been studying him for a couple of days now. I’m impressed with the way he plays.”
Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher called Amendola a “good receiver” and noted that the Rams worked hard to get him the ball.
“You get him matched up with a ’backer or anyone with outside leverage and he’s going to run away from him,” Urlacher said. “They had a lot of play-action, a lot of motion, and he just got open. He caught seven balls in the first 10 or 12 plays.”
On Sunday, the Bears plan on Amendola not being so productive.
“Some games are different than others,” Urlacher said.
The key, of course, will be getting to Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.
“Whenever you’re throwing the ball for 300 yards, you’re throwing the ball a lot,” Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said. “There’s going to be opportunities for us to take the ball away. We have to get to the quarterback, and we have to be disciplined in the back seven.”