Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, deprenil 2012
FOXBOROUGH — He might be able to leap over a moving car — more on that later — but receiver Brandon Lloyd is hoping the second half of the Patriots’ season finds him jumping into the end zone more often.
Lloyd, deprenil signed to a three-year, deprenil $12 million deal in the offseason, deprenil began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, deprenil eight the next week, deprenil then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, deprenil 80-yard game at Seattle, deprenil Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Deprenil He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, deprenil including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Deprenil 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Deprenil Both, deprenil though, deprenil went for touchdowns, deprenil possibly a positive sign as the Patriots get set to come off their bye week with a home game on Sunday with the Bills.
Despite the week off, deprenil can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, deprenil” he said.
True, deprenil but both went for touchdowns. Deprenil Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, deprenil two touchdowns, deprenil” Lloyd said. Deprenil “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, deprenil but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Deprenil Halfway into his first season, deprenil it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, deprenil and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, deprenil in the spring, deprenil that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, deprenil ‘All right, deprenil we got it, deprenil’ because we still have so much work to do, deprenil” Lloyd said. Deprenil “We’re working hard to improve on that, deprenil week by week and day by day, deprenil but it’s a group effort, deprenil and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Deprenil We just keep working at it, deprenil so we go out there in practice and we work on things and Coach [Bill Belichick] tells us things that we need to do better. Deprenil We’re always trying to make those improvements. Deprenil I think you just have to keep going out there to work at it and see if it can be better each day.”
With 37 receptions for 435 yards and three touchdowns, deprenil Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, deprenil which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, deprenil448 yards. Deprenil That number appears safe, deprenil barring an exceptional second half, deprenil but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, deprenil combining with receiver Wes Welker and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez to give Brady plenty of powerful options through the air.
That’s the great aspect of the Patriots’ offense. Deprenil It could be a different standout every week, deprenil either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, deprenil regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, deprenil I’ve never been declared a No. Deprenil 1 target, deprenil like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, deprenil where it’s clear, deprenil” said Lloyd, deprenil who is in his 10th season, deprenil but is already on his sixth organization. Deprenil “Coming to a team like this, deprenil it’s natural for me, deprenil to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, deprenil I’ll be available for him. Deprenil They want me to be open, deprenil and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, deprenil Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Deprenil What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, deprenil working mostly on the outside, deprenil using his speed and jumping ability to make plays downfield.
That jumping ability was on display in a video that surfaced this week from over the summer, deprenil when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Deprenil Impressive, deprenil but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, deprenil when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, deprenil they mean more, deprenil they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, deprenil coming into November and December, deprenil” Lloyd said. Deprenil “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, deprenil so you have stuff you can look forward to, deprenil stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deprenil Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.