With the epic fail of the “Ochocinco experiment” I feel some fans had a preconceived notion about the signing of Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd has been criticized for his performance this year and even thought of as a bust. I think this is malarkey and that Lloyd did everything we needed him to do and more. Can we give the man a little love?

Brandon Lloyd has been a favorite player of Josh McDaniels dating back to the days when McDaniels was the head coach in Denver. Lloyd followed McDaniels to St. Louis when McDaniels took over the offensive coordinator position for a year and his performance was average - which was to be expected in St. Louis (no offense). In some ways I don’t really know what Patriots fans expect from people like Brandon Lloyd. If fans are looking for another Randy Moss they should have examined both players' skill set and realized that both Lloyd and Ochocinco are different players than Moss.

Moss is an absolute freak of nature that could spread defenses out with sheer speed and he had height over virtually every cornerback in the league; his talents will seldom be seen in the NFL. Players like Lloyd rely on precise route running and quickness rather than speed to get open and Lloyd is not a particularly tall receiver by NFL standards. The Patriots did not bring in Lloyd to become a deep threat, but instead they brought him in because McDaniels knew he was a smart enough player to pick up the offensive schemes, a skill Ochocinco did not possess.

Lloyd was the second most targeted receiver on the Patriots (to Wes Welker) with 130 targets hauling in 74 of them for 911 yards. He averaged a slightly higher yards per catch than Welker and scored 4 touchdowns while Welker scored 6. In the ratio of targets-to-catch Lloyd was just about 57% effective in catching the ball which could be better, but it was his first year in a difficult system and some of his targets were nearly uncatchable throws by Brady. The only knock I’ll give to Lloyd is he doesn’t fight for extra yardage and seems very quick to hit the floor. This could be viewed in two ways because, though you like a guy to fight for those extra yards, Lloyd going down meant he had no fumbles this year in compared to Welker’s two. Also going down has allowed him to avoid injury which is something I’m sure all Patriots fans know a little something about.

Lloyd was meant to run short outside routes to convert first downs and for his purpose I give him an A for the year. We as fans need to stop holding receivers to the unattainable standard set in 2007 and realize that, within this potent offense, every player has a different skill set and each player’s skill set is equally important to its success. Lloyd ia a talent that has a bright future in New England and with proper time can grow to be a number one receiver.


Joshua Brown 1/23/2013 11:50:00 PM Edit

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