"When you see the 'Patriot Way' in the dictionary, it's gonna have Tom Brady's name next to it," the former New England Patriots wideout said on First Things First. "None of those coaches caught any passes. ... Tom Brady is the 'Patriot Way.' That's the reason why Tom Brady's in the Super Bowl right now and the Patriots aren't."
Amendola, 35, spent five seasons with Brady in New England (2013-17), registering 230 catches for 2,383 yards and 12 touchdowns in that time. He also won two Super Bowls with the Patriots.
He spent the 2020 season with the Detroit Lions, catching 46 passes for 602 yards.
When Brady left the Pats this offseason to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one of the main talking points became whether it was Brady or Belichick who was more responsible for the organization's success in their time together, which included six titles, nine Super Bowl appearances and 19 division titles.
Round 1 has gone to Brady. While Belichick and the Patriots finished 7-9 and missed the postseason for the first time since 2008, Brady is heading to the Super Bowl to face Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Granted, Brady inherited a talented offense that includes Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette. He also brought long-time teammate Rob Gronkowski with him after the star tight end spent a year retired, and the Bucs signed veteran receiver Antonio Brown.
But Brady had a fantastic year at age 43, throwing for 4,633 yards, 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, completing 65.7 percent of his passes. Elite weapons or not, not every quarterback is capable of doing what Brady did this year. In a very similar offense, Jameis Winston threw for 30 interceptions.
Belichick remains one of the game's most brilliant tacticians and defensive minds. But if you ask Amendola, it was Brady who was more instrumental to the team's past success.