Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, gestapuran 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, gestapuran signed to a three-year, gestapuran $12 million deal in the offseason, gestapuran began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, gestapuran eight the next week, gestapuran then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, gestapuran 80-yard game at Seattle, gestapuran Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Gestapuran He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, gestapuran including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Gestapuran 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Gestapuran Both, gestapuran though, gestapuran went for touchdowns, gestapuran 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, gestapuran can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, gestapuran” he said.
True, gestapuran but both went for touchdowns. Gestapuran Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, gestapuran two touchdowns, gestapuran” Lloyd said. Gestapuran “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, gestapuran but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Gestapuran Halfway into his first season, gestapuran it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, gestapuran and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, gestapuran in the spring, gestapuran that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, gestapuran ‘All right, gestapuran we got it, gestapuran’ because we still have so much work to do, gestapuran” Lloyd said. Gestapuran “We’re working hard to improve on that, gestapuran week by week and day by day, gestapuran but it’s a group effort, gestapuran and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Gestapuran We just keep working at it, gestapuran 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. Gestapuran We’re always trying to make those improvements. Gestapuran 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, gestapuran Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, gestapuran which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, gestapuran448 yards. Gestapuran That number appears safe, gestapuran barring an exceptional second half, gestapuran but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, gestapuran 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. Gestapuran It could be a different standout every week, gestapuran either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, gestapuran regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, gestapuran I’ve never been declared a No. Gestapuran 1 target, gestapuran like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, gestapuran where it’s clear, gestapuran” said Lloyd, gestapuran who is in his 10th season, gestapuran but is already on his sixth organization. Gestapuran “Coming to a team like this, gestapuran it’s natural for me, gestapuran to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, gestapuran I’ll be available for him. Gestapuran They want me to be open, gestapuran and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, gestapuran Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Gestapuran What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, gestapuran working mostly on the outside, gestapuran 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, gestapuran when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Gestapuran Impressive, gestapuran but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, gestapuran when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, gestapuran they mean more, gestapuran they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, gestapuran coming into November and December, gestapuran” Lloyd said. Gestapuran “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, gestapuran so you have stuff you can look forward to, gestapuran stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Gestapuran Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.