Brandon Lloyd can help new Patriots’ teammates get acquainted with the Cardinals
|09.10.12 at 6:15 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When it comes to getting up to speed on the Cardinals, Brandon Lloyd could be a valuable resource.
The former Rams and Broncos receiver is pretty familiar with New England’s next opponent. He faced them twice last season when he was with St. Louis, and when he was with Denver, the Cards were a common opponent, both in the preseason and regular season.
“I haven’t watched film on them [yet], but I’ve played them the last couple of years and in the preseason,” said Lloyd, who had five catches for 69 yards in the regular-season opener on Sunday. “They’re a young football team and they have some of the most explosive football players in the NFL. And the matchups with [defensive back Patrick] Peterson … it’s a good team, competitive. We’ll have to do well in man coverage to beat them.
“They have a terrific pass rush and that pass rush puts a lot of pressure on your ability to protect the quarterback and insure the throws. Tight coverage, big time pass rush, some of the best ball skills from their cornerbacks that I’ve seen in the NFL. You look forward to these kinds of games because they really challenge you.”
Lloyd should expect a heavy dose of Peterson, Arizona’s finest cornerback. The 6-foot-1, 219-pounder out of LSU had 13 passes defensed and two picks last season as a rookie, and has become one of the best young defensive backs in the league.
“He has all the intangibles — the size, the speed, the short-area quickness. He has all that,” Lloyd said of Peterson. “On top of that, he has just incredible ball skills. That’s what separates him from a lot of the guys you face. And in the special teams area, he’s an incredible threat when it comes to returning the ball. he’s definitely a really talented player. One of the best players we’ve faced all season.”
In terms of his performance in the opener, Lloyd was targeted a team-high eight times, with the only real misstep of the day coming on a missed connection with quarterback Tom Brady in the first half. (Lloyd wasn’t in the mood to talk about the incomplete, saying only, “We’re going to talk about Arizona today.”) The receiver said the Patriots played well “in all phases” against Tennessee.
“Our offense and our defense complimented each other, and each one of them complimented our special teams,” Lloyd said. “It felt like we did well. We still have another opportunity this week to improve against Arizona, and that’s how we’re looking at it.”