Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, sulfamethoxazole 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, sulfamethoxazole signed to a three-year, sulfamethoxazole $12 million deal in the offseason, sulfamethoxazole began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, sulfamethoxazole eight the next week, sulfamethoxazole then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, sulfamethoxazole 80-yard game at Seattle, sulfamethoxazole Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Sulfamethoxazole He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, sulfamethoxazole including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Sulfamethoxazole 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Sulfamethoxazole Both, sulfamethoxazole though, sulfamethoxazole went for touchdowns, sulfamethoxazole 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, sulfamethoxazole can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, sulfamethoxazole” he said.
True, sulfamethoxazole but both went for touchdowns. Sulfamethoxazole Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, sulfamethoxazole two touchdowns, sulfamethoxazole” Lloyd said. Sulfamethoxazole “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, sulfamethoxazole but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Sulfamethoxazole Halfway into his first season, sulfamethoxazole it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, sulfamethoxazole and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, sulfamethoxazole in the spring, sulfamethoxazole that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, sulfamethoxazole ‘All right, sulfamethoxazole we got it, sulfamethoxazole’ because we still have so much work to do, sulfamethoxazole” Lloyd said. Sulfamethoxazole “We’re working hard to improve on that, sulfamethoxazole week by week and day by day, sulfamethoxazole but it’s a group effort, sulfamethoxazole and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Sulfamethoxazole We just keep working at it, sulfamethoxazole 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. Sulfamethoxazole We’re always trying to make those improvements. Sulfamethoxazole 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, sulfamethoxazole Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, sulfamethoxazole which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, sulfamethoxazole448 yards. Sulfamethoxazole That number appears safe, sulfamethoxazole barring an exceptional second half, sulfamethoxazole but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, sulfamethoxazole 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. Sulfamethoxazole It could be a different standout every week, sulfamethoxazole either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, sulfamethoxazole regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, sulfamethoxazole I’ve never been declared a No. Sulfamethoxazole 1 target, sulfamethoxazole like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, sulfamethoxazole where it’s clear, sulfamethoxazole” said Lloyd, sulfamethoxazole who is in his 10th season, sulfamethoxazole but is already on his sixth organization. Sulfamethoxazole “Coming to a team like this, sulfamethoxazole it’s natural for me, sulfamethoxazole to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, sulfamethoxazole I’ll be available for him. Sulfamethoxazole They want me to be open, sulfamethoxazole and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, sulfamethoxazole Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Sulfamethoxazole What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, sulfamethoxazole working mostly on the outside, sulfamethoxazole 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, sulfamethoxazole when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Sulfamethoxazole Impressive, sulfamethoxazole but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, sulfamethoxazole when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, sulfamethoxazole they mean more, sulfamethoxazole they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, sulfamethoxazole coming into November and December, sulfamethoxazole” Lloyd said. Sulfamethoxazole “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, sulfamethoxazole so you have stuff you can look forward to, sulfamethoxazole stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sulfamethoxazole Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.