Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, threadworm 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, threadworm signed to a three-year, threadworm $12 million deal in the offseason, threadworm began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, threadworm eight the next week, threadworm then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, threadworm 80-yard game at Seattle, threadworm Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Threadworm He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, threadworm including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Threadworm 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Threadworm Both, threadworm though, threadworm went for touchdowns, threadworm 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, threadworm can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, threadworm” he said.
True, threadworm but both went for touchdowns. Threadworm Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, threadworm two touchdowns, threadworm” Lloyd said. Threadworm “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, threadworm but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Threadworm Halfway into his first season, threadworm it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, threadworm and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, threadworm in the spring, threadworm that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, threadworm ‘All right, threadworm we got it, threadworm’ because we still have so much work to do, threadworm” Lloyd said. Threadworm “We’re working hard to improve on that, threadworm week by week and day by day, threadworm but it’s a group effort, threadworm and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Threadworm We just keep working at it, threadworm 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. Threadworm We’re always trying to make those improvements. Threadworm 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, threadworm Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, threadworm which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, threadworm448 yards. Threadworm That number appears safe, threadworm barring an exceptional second half, threadworm but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, threadworm 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. Threadworm It could be a different standout every week, threadworm either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, threadworm regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, threadworm I’ve never been declared a No. Threadworm 1 target, threadworm like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, threadworm where it’s clear, threadworm” said Lloyd, threadworm who is in his 10th season, threadworm but is already on his sixth organization. Threadworm “Coming to a team like this, threadworm it’s natural for me, threadworm to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, threadworm I’ll be available for him. Threadworm They want me to be open, threadworm and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, threadworm Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Threadworm What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, threadworm working mostly on the outside, threadworm 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, threadworm when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Threadworm Impressive, threadworm but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, threadworm when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, threadworm they mean more, threadworm they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, threadworm coming into November and December, threadworm” Lloyd said. Threadworm “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, threadworm so you have stuff you can look forward to, threadworm stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Threadworm Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.