'Uncle Danny' Amendola's offseason training includes workouts with Lions' Stafford, Golladay
A global pandemic isn't going to hinder Danny Amendola's preparation for the 2020 season. Sure, there's been a few wrenches thrown into the process, but the Lions' veteran receiver is finding ways to work around restrictions as he eyes his 12th season at the age of 34.
Yes, Amendola's local gym in Austin, Texas has been shut down the past several weeks. But that was only a bump in the road as he built a home gym to maintain his weight training and cardio regiments.
Mix that in with a little yoga, downhill mountain biking — just don't tell coach Matt Patricia about that one he asks — and even some work with quarterback Matthew Stafford, and Amendola figures to be ready to go when the veil of uncertainty around the 2020 NFL season is finally lifted.
Amendola has worked out with Stafford on two separate occasions this offseason. First, in California, when COVID-19 was first beginning to spread across the United States, and later at the quarterback's home in Atlanta.
"I flew to Atlanta privately, so I could get there in a safe manner," Amendola said during a Wednesday videoconference with local reporters. "It was seamless. We got four great days in. I earned a new nickname, Uncle Danny, with his kids. It was a great learning experience for me."
Stafford explained last week how the players were doing their best to stay safe during the shared workouts, focusing on limiting participation and eliminating any unnecessary physical contact before, during and after working out.
In addition to Stafford, Amendola has also gotten in some work with teammate Kenny Golladay, who joined the sessions in California and also flew to Amendola's home in Texas.
There, he has the benefit of two NFL quarterbacks living in the neighborhood — Giants backup Colt McCoy and Cleveland starter Baker Mayfield — who are happy to throw at one of the area high school fields.
"We're trying to control what we can control, obviously," Amendola said. "Nobody in the entire world has a grasp on what we're going through right now and it's tough times. We're doing our best with our Zoom meetings. We're doing our best to get together, to link up with our training in the offseason and do it in a safe manner."
In Amendola's first season with the Lions, he hauled in 62 passes for 678 yards as the team's primary slot receiver. He also was voted a team captain and served as an unofficial mentor for Golladay, who firmly established himself as Stafford's top target in 2019.
Golladay finished the campaign with a career-best 1,190 yards, while leading the league with 11 touchdown receptions.
Amendola only sees brighter days ahead for Golladay, who is set to earn a massive payday entering the final year of his rookie contract.
"Kenny can be really good," Amendola said. "Kenny is really good. What I love about Kenny is he's a dog, and he plays the game very physically, and he's a great teammate. ...The sky's the limit for Kenny. It's just a matter of getting out there, getting some years under his belt, getting some experience under his belt.
"And what Kenny and I talk about now is, you know, we want to win. We want to get to the playoffs. We want to have a home playoff game at Ford Field. I tell him, as much as I can, there's nothing like that feeling of winning for your city, and that's what we want to see the most. That's what inspires us, that's what pushes us day in and day out."