Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, histoplasmosis 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, histoplasmosis signed to a three-year, histoplasmosis $12 million deal in the offseason, histoplasmosis began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, histoplasmosis eight the next week, histoplasmosis then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, histoplasmosis 80-yard game at Seattle, histoplasmosis Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Histoplasmosis He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, histoplasmosis including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Histoplasmosis 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Histoplasmosis Both, histoplasmosis though, histoplasmosis went for touchdowns, histoplasmosis 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, histoplasmosis can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, histoplasmosis” he said.
True, histoplasmosis but both went for touchdowns. Histoplasmosis Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, histoplasmosis two touchdowns, histoplasmosis” Lloyd said. Histoplasmosis “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, histoplasmosis but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Histoplasmosis Halfway into his first season, histoplasmosis it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, histoplasmosis and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, histoplasmosis in the spring, histoplasmosis that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, histoplasmosis ‘All right, histoplasmosis we got it, histoplasmosis’ because we still have so much work to do, histoplasmosis” Lloyd said. Histoplasmosis “We’re working hard to improve on that, histoplasmosis week by week and day by day, histoplasmosis but it’s a group effort, histoplasmosis and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Histoplasmosis We just keep working at it, histoplasmosis 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. Histoplasmosis We’re always trying to make those improvements. Histoplasmosis 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, histoplasmosis Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, histoplasmosis which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, histoplasmosis448 yards. Histoplasmosis That number appears safe, histoplasmosis barring an exceptional second half, histoplasmosis but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, histoplasmosis 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. Histoplasmosis It could be a different standout every week, histoplasmosis either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, histoplasmosis regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, histoplasmosis I’ve never been declared a No. Histoplasmosis 1 target, histoplasmosis like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, histoplasmosis where it’s clear, histoplasmosis” said Lloyd, histoplasmosis who is in his 10th season, histoplasmosis but is already on his sixth organization. Histoplasmosis “Coming to a team like this, histoplasmosis it’s natural for me, histoplasmosis to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, histoplasmosis I’ll be available for him. Histoplasmosis They want me to be open, histoplasmosis and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, histoplasmosis Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Histoplasmosis What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, histoplasmosis working mostly on the outside, histoplasmosis 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, histoplasmosis when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Histoplasmosis Impressive, histoplasmosis but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, histoplasmosis when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, histoplasmosis they mean more, histoplasmosis they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, histoplasmosis coming into November and December, histoplasmosis” Lloyd said. Histoplasmosis “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, histoplasmosis so you have stuff you can look forward to, histoplasmosis stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Histoplasmosis Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.