Veterans prepare for first playoff exposure with Patriots
|01.03.13 at 5:13 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Brandon LLoyd is preparing to do something he has never done before: Play in the NFL postseason. The 31-year-old always knew the day would come, though.
Asked Thursday if he had ever wondered over the years whether he’d see the playoffs, Lloyd replied, “No,” declining to elaborate.
The first nine years of his career, spent between San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, Denver and St. Louis, saw him play for a lot of teams, but none that would see the postseason. Now on his sixth team (how many first-round picks can say that?), Lloyd had to know that being in New England meant playing in the postseason. As his season stretches out at least two weeks longer than usual, he’s just trying to keep everything the same.
“I’m pretty much going to approach it like I’ve been approaching all the games all season,” Lloyd said. “Putting together a good week of practice is pretty much how it’s always going to start. Paying attention to the assignments and just taking care of business.”
In his first season with the Patriots, Lloyd has 74 receptions for 911 yards and four touchdowns. His 130 targets are second to only Wes Welker (174).
Lloyd said on Thursday that he isn’t one to watch a lot of games on television (which makes sense because he’s usually working on Sundays), but he’ll keep an eye on this weekend’s games — particularly Cincinnati at Houston — as he readies for the divisional round.
As for perhaps the biggest benefit of the bye week — rest — Lloyd seems too eager to be worried about resting. The extra week off will undoubtedly help some of the banged-up Pats — Aqib Talib, Rob Ninkovich, etc. — but Lloyd sees the bye week as extra time to get ready for the second season.
“I think the bye week is more for preparing for our opponents,” he said. “It’s going to give us a head start — who we’re going to see, who we’re going to be playing. We’re going to have extra days of preparation for them, so the first-round bye is more for preparation as opposed to resting up, per se.”
Other veteran Patriots seeing the postseason for the first time include Talib and Trevor Scott, but Talib doesn’t see inexperience in the playoffs as a disadvantage.
“I’ve never been to the postseason, but I’m not a rookie or nothing,” the fifth-year player said. “Once we get out there and the game starts, it’s still football.”
Christopher Price contributed to this report.