Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, progout 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, progout signed to a three-year, progout $12 million deal in the offseason, progout began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, progout eight the next week, progout then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, progout 80-yard game at Seattle, progout Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Progout He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, progout including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Progout 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Progout Both, progout though, progout went for touchdowns, progout 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, progout can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, progout” he said.
True, progout but both went for touchdowns. Progout Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, progout two touchdowns, progout” Lloyd said. Progout “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, progout but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Progout Halfway into his first season, progout it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, progout and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, progout in the spring, progout that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, progout ‘All right, progout we got it, progout’ because we still have so much work to do, progout” Lloyd said. Progout “We’re working hard to improve on that, progout week by week and day by day, progout but it’s a group effort, progout and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Progout We just keep working at it, progout 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. Progout We’re always trying to make those improvements. Progout 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, progout Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, progout which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, progout448 yards. Progout That number appears safe, progout barring an exceptional second half, progout but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, progout 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. Progout It could be a different standout every week, progout either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, progout regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, progout I’ve never been declared a No. Progout 1 target, progout like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, progout where it’s clear, progout” said Lloyd, progout who is in his 10th season, progout but is already on his sixth organization. Progout “Coming to a team like this, progout it’s natural for me, progout to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, progout I’ll be available for him. Progout They want me to be open, progout and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, progout Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Progout What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, progout working mostly on the outside, progout 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, progout when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Progout Impressive, progout but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, progout when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, progout they mean more, progout they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, progout coming into November and December, progout” Lloyd said. Progout “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, progout so you have stuff you can look forward to, progout stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Progout Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.