- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Sunday, and it was an interview tied to receiving the Inspiration to Youth Award at Saturday’s Pop Warner Scholastic banquet.
As is often the case, Hernandez was asked questions beyond Pop Warner and one of the big takeaways was his first impression of free-agent signee Danny Amendola as he attempts to help fill the void created by Wes Welker’s departure to Denver.
“I think Danny is going to do a great job. He looks good so far this year,” Hernandez told host Zig Fracassi. “I think he’ll fill the role pretty well.”
Hernandez’s viewpoint seemed to reflect what reporters saw last Tuesday at the Patriots’ organized team activity, as Amendola often was the first receiver through drills and looked as quick as advertised.
While there is a long way to go between now and the start of the season, Amendola has seemed to make a favorable impression on teammates such as Hernandez.
A few other soundbites from Hernandez's interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio:
On potentially being without Rob Gronkowski. “It definitely would be a big change because he’s a huge part of our offense, but everyone would have to step up and keep the train moving.”
On team goals for 2013. “Obviously we always have the goal which is the big dance, the Super Bowl, but we just have to take it day by day and correct errors from last year and the reason we came up short, and work hard every day, get together as a team, and figure out what we have to do to compete to be at the Super Bowl. … All I know is we came up short [in 2012] and it’s very painful when you work all season and all camp and all offseason for one game. It gives us even more of a drive this year to go get it.”
Playing close to home. “I always watched the Patriots growing up. I was a big fan of them going back to Drew Bledsoe and Curtis Martin. It’s good to be close to home and play in front of my family.”