Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, urecholine 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, urecholine signed to a three-year, urecholine $12 million deal in the offseason, urecholine began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, urecholine eight the next week, urecholine then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, urecholine 80-yard game at Seattle, urecholine Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Urecholine He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, urecholine including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Urecholine 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Urecholine Both, urecholine though, urecholine went for touchdowns, urecholine 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, urecholine can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, urecholine” he said.
True, urecholine but both went for touchdowns. Urecholine Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, urecholine two touchdowns, urecholine” Lloyd said. Urecholine “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, urecholine but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Urecholine Halfway into his first season, urecholine it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, urecholine and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, urecholine in the spring, urecholine that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, urecholine ‘All right, urecholine we got it, urecholine’ because we still have so much work to do, urecholine” Lloyd said. Urecholine “We’re working hard to improve on that, urecholine week by week and day by day, urecholine but it’s a group effort, urecholine and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Urecholine We just keep working at it, urecholine 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. Urecholine We’re always trying to make those improvements. Urecholine 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, urecholine Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, urecholine which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, urecholine448 yards. Urecholine That number appears safe, urecholine barring an exceptional second half, urecholine but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, urecholine 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. Urecholine It could be a different standout every week, urecholine either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, urecholine regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, urecholine I’ve never been declared a No. Urecholine 1 target, urecholine like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, urecholine where it’s clear, urecholine” said Lloyd, urecholine who is in his 10th season, urecholine but is already on his sixth organization. Urecholine “Coming to a team like this, urecholine it’s natural for me, urecholine to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, urecholine I’ll be available for him. Urecholine They want me to be open, urecholine and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, urecholine Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Urecholine What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, urecholine working mostly on the outside, urecholine 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, urecholine when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Urecholine Impressive, urecholine but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, urecholine when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, urecholine they mean more, urecholine they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, urecholine coming into November and December, urecholine” Lloyd said. Urecholine “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, urecholine so you have stuff you can look forward to, urecholine stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Urecholine Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.