Brandon Lloyd And Patriots
March 18, 2012 by staff
Brandon Lloyd And Patriots, The New England Patriots’ desperate need for a deep receiver was never pronounced than in Super Bowl XLVI, when the New York Giants got away with lining up their two-safety sets closer to the line of scrimmage than they ever would have in Randy Moss’ (or even Deion Branch’s) best days.
Former 49ers, Redskins, Bears, Broncos, and Rams receiver Brandon Lloyd became Bill Belichick’s latest veteran receiver reclamation project when he signed a three-year, $12 million deal with New England on Saturday.
New England struck out with Chad Ochocinco last season, but the Lloyd factor could be far more impactful, and his history with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the key. McDaniels was Denver’s head coach in 2010, when Lloyd led the NFL in “air yards” with 16.47 per catch. That season, he ranked second in Football Outsiders’ cumulative efficiency rankings, and sixth in FO’s per-play metrics, among all receivers. In 2011, Branch led the Patriots with 7.27 air yards per catch, while Lloyd picked up 11.97 in St. Louis’ woeful passing offense with McDaniels as offensive coordinator.
Lloyd’s catch rates aren’t always great (51 percent in 2010, and 48 percent in 2011), but that’s fairly common among deep receivers. If he can force enemy defenses to commit up top, that will provide more opportunities for receiver Wes Welker, as well as super-tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Don’t expect the Pats to deviate from their league-leading percentage of 2-TE sets (it’s their bread and butter now), but the addition of Lloyd should at least make safeties play them honest in 2012.
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