|Release of Brandon Lloyd concludes year of unfulfilled hopes with Patriots||03.16.13 at 4:38 pm ET|
With Brandon Lloyd, there’s no easy answer. You look at his numbers — 74 catches, 911 yards, four touchdowns — and when you consider he was the third (or even the fourth) option in the New England passing game over the course of the 2012 season, it’s hard to say he failed in the Patriots’ system.
But the receiver, who followed Josh McDaniels to New England prior to the start of 2012 out of a sense of loyalty to his former head coach in Denver and offensive coordinator in St. Louis, simply may not have been the receiver the Patriots thought they were getting. In the spring and summer, players and coaches raved about his abilities. He showed an extraordinary connection and grasp of the offense early on. But when the games began, it seemed like he struggled to fit into New England passing game.
It wasn’t as much of a struggle as it was for Chad Ochocinco, who approached the entire 2011 season like he was playing Jenga, afraid of making everything collapse. Instead, Lloyd just appeared to be an odd fit at times.
While New England was looking for a deep threat, Lloyd either didn’t get much of an opportunity to show what he could do when it came to getting behind a defense, or the Patriots didn’t use him properly — his 12.3 yards per catch was the lowest for a full season for the course of his career. And there clearly were times where he was underwhelming, including seven games where he finished with three catches or fewer. Part of that is on the offensive game plan, but it’s hardly the sort of thing you’re looking for from someone who was targeted 130 times over the course of the year. Read the rest of this entry »
|Greg Bedard on D&C: ‘Most people would like to move on from Brandon Lloyd’||02.26.13 at 9:56 am ET|
Receiver Brandon Lloyd might not be retained by the Patriots, who are tired of his “erratic behavior in the locker room and on the practice field,” according to a report from Boston Globe NFL writer Greg Bedard.
Bedard, speaking with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning, explained that the frustration with Lloyd extends throughout the organization.
“Everybody [is sick of Lloyd],” Bedard said. “I was surprised at that. I hadn’t really heard that until I talked to a bunch of people this week. If you polled people in the Patriots organization, from the coaches to the players, I’d say a good majority of them would not want Brandon Lloyd back.
“He wasn’t terrible, but he’s just so inconsistent — not only on the field, but personality-wise. It just grinds on you after a while.”
The Patriots were careful to build protection into the deal they signed with Lloyd last offseason, knowing his history of alienating coaches and teammates. If they cut Lloyd now, they can avoid paying him a $3 million option bonus and save $4.9 million against the cap in 2013, according to Bedard.
Bedard said the Patriots will meet after the scouting combine to determine a plan, but they can’t make a move yet because they are so thin at wide receiver.
“There will be some people in the organization who say, ‘Look, we can’t line up tomorrow at wide receiver, so we need to pick up Brandon’s option.’ And I’m sure one of those people is Josh McDaniels. He obviously vouched for Brandon, bringing him in there. And he’s also the offensive coordinator, and I’m sure he’s not thrilled with the prospect of bringing in a bunch of wide receivers who don’t know this system.
“It’s going to be an interesting debate. I know that most people would like to move on from Brandon Lloyd. At the end of the day, will they be allowed to? I’m not so sure.”
Lloyd, who played under McDaniels in Denver and St. Louis, had 74 receptions for 911 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games this past season. In two playoff games, he had 12 catches for 102 yards and one touchdown. He has especially been criticized for his lack of yardage after the catch. But it’s his personality that appears to be the bigger issue.
“You talk to people with the Rams, you talk to people with the Broncos, you hear these same tales that he’s just inconsistent [in his behavior],” Bedard said. “We knew this when he was coming here. … This is why he’s well-traveled. I think he’s a good guy. He’s just different. How long can you put up with that? I think it really grated on some people this year.”
|Patriots bringing Brian Daboll back to coaching staff||01.14.13 at 12:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — In a move similar to bringing back Josh McDaniels during last year’s playoff run as an offensive coaching assistant, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick announced Monday that Brian Daboll is in the process of rejoining the coaching staff. Belichick said Daboll’s role hasn’t been specified yet.
“[It's] similar to what Josh did last year but without any specific responsibility at this time,” Belichick said in announcing the move during Monday’s conference call with reporters. “As soon as we get that worked out, he’ll be part of our coaching staff going forward.”
Daboll was first with the Patriots in the early 2000s, serving as a defensive coaching assistant in 2000. He then worked with McDaniels and coached the wide receivers from 2002-06.
“It’s great to have Brian back,” McDaniels said. “He’s a very good football coach, very knowledgeable and can help us a will certainly help us in a lot of different ways. Certainly having another set of eyes with experience and has a lot of understanding of our system and how we go about doing things, I think, is only a positive for us and can help our football team going forward. I look forward to doing that with Brian.
“Last year when I came back, really anything they asked me to do, I was excited to do. You know, anything you can do to help at this time of year is useful, whether that’s drawing practice cards or sitting in a meeting and having a few ideas on a certain situation in the game plan or anything like that during the course of a week. Everything is so important; every detail is very critical at this time of year and having another football coach on your staff to help is nothing but helpful for us.”
Daboll left New England and joined the staff of head coach Eric Mangini with the Jets and served as quarterbacks coach in 2007-08.
After leaving the Jets, Daboll became the Browns offensive coordinator from 2009-10. He had the same job with the Dolphins (2011) and the Chiefs this past season.
Belichick is very familiar with him, as he served as a graduate assistant for Nick Saban at Michigan State from 1998-99.
|Brandon Lloyd says Josh McDaniels ‘is my bridge’ to Tom Brady||01.10.13 at 5:24 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When Brandon Lloyd signed in New England, he admitted Thursday, it was all about making the playoffs.
He entered the NFL in 2003. He’s played with the 49ers, Redskins, Bears, Broncos and Rams. But this season, his first with the Patriots, he’ll finally be getting a taste of the NFL playoff when he takes the field on Sunday.
But joining the Patriots and having success with Tom Brady can be two different things altogether. Just asked Chad Ochocinco, aka Chad Johnson.
Lloyd had 74 catches for 911 yards and four touchdowns, far more production from this No. 85 than its predecessor in 2011. Still, Lloyd heard all season about getting comfortable with Brady. Now that the regular season’s over, what has it been like?
“It’s a work in progress,” Lloyd said.
The question was repeated. Still a work in progress?
“Yes,” Lloyd said.
This is the third year in a row where he’s caught at least 70 passes. Has it been a different process than in the past or relatively the same?
“It’s been different than the past just because of the organization,” Lloyd explained. “It’s been different than the past because of Tom and his style of preparation, but it’s been similar in the sense that we have to put the work in during the week in all the weeks and during the camps, and then we’ll go into the game and that’s where we’ll really find out about one another. That’s what makes it similar.
“In playing with the less experienced quarterbacks like in St. Louis playing with [Kellen Clemens], it would be different. When he was thrown into the staring lineup, it was more of a situation where I was like, ‘Where do you want me to be? I’m not going to tell you where I’m going to be; you tell me where you want me to be and then I’ll do my best to get there.’ With Tom, we have a little bit of give and take. Some plays, I have that freedom and there are some plays where I can say, ‘Hey, I want to be here’ and then he’ll work it out. Other plays, he’ll say, ‘You need to be here and that’s the way the plays go. It’s similar and it’s different, but it’s equally rewarding.”
But, as Lloyd himself pointed out, the most important factor this year may have been Josh McDaniels, the offensive coordinator he’s worked with the last three seasons. How much has that relationship with helped bridge the relationship with Brady?
“I think the bridge with Tom is Josh because Josh gives me credibility,” Lloyd said. “Being with Josh the last three seasons, that’s what gave me the credibility to come here and be accepted as a productive member of this team.”
Here is the remainder of Lloyd’s transcript from Thursday’s press conference:
Read the rest of this entry »
|Josh McDaniels is ‘totally focused on this season’ despite NFL openings||12.31.12 at 12:21 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Despite his insistence last week that he is completely focused on the task at hand in New England, a flurry of NFL head coaching vacancies on Monday put Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels under the microscope again on Monday.
McDaniels name came up last week as a potential head coaching with the Browns, who fired Pat Shurmur on Monday.
“I’m thrilled to be back here and came back here for all the right reasons – to learn and to get better as a coach, to work in an organization that I really have a great deal of respect and appreciation for,” McDaniels said, referring to his return to the Patriots this season after a head coaching stint with the Broncos in 2009-10 and a coordinator’s job with the Rams in 2011.
In addition to the Browns, the Eagles fired Andy Reid, the Bills fired Chan Gailey, the Chiefs parted ways with Romeo Crennel and the Bears let go head coach Lovie Smith despite the Bears’ 10-6 record in 2012. Still, McDaniels said his focus is all on the Patriots. The Chargers were expected to fire Norv Turner while Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt‘s future is uncertain in Arizona.
“I’m happy here,” McDaniels added. “My family is happy here. We’re excited about what’s ahead of us here in the playoffs, and to talk about any other opportunities at this point is, to me, irrelevant, because I’m totally focused on this season and what this season holds. I couldn’t be more excited to be here and be a New England Patriot and try to do the best job that I can with the title I have right now.”
Bill Belichick was asked if he had thought about the possibility that McDaniels might be a head coaching candidate.
“Whatever the rules are are the rules and we of course abide by the NFL rules and policies on everything,” Belichick said. “That’s pretty clearly covered by the league. As far as any other situation, I really couldn’t comment on any other team or situation. I have no idea what somebody else is looking for or what their criteria are or what their situation is, for that matter, as an outsider. So I really have no idea who would do what somewhere else because I just don’t know enough about wherever else it is that we’d be talking about.
“As I said, I think Josh has done a great job this year along with the entire offensive staff and the other coaches involved: defense and special teams coaches. I think the coaching staff has done a solid job, but as it relates to him, he’s done a solid job. How that fits into some other situation, I have no idea.”
McDaniels said he has learned from his prior jobs, including his positions with the Patriots before leaving for Denver in 2009.
“I think that every opportunity that you have, and certainly [all] that I’ve gone through since I started a long time ago in 2001 here, has been a learning experience for me. There are certainly going to be mistakes along the way in every role that you hold and that you have and opportunity to work in. I think as long as you can go through that process and try to get better from each mistake that you make or from each positive result that you get, there’s always something to learn from those things and try to make you a better coach, a better leader, a better teacher, a better person, a better communicator, a better staff member.
Hopefully that’s what I’ve tried to do with all my experiences, including the ones that I’ve recently had that weren’t here in New England. I hope every day that I’m better than I was the day before and that every year I can say the same thing. So hopefully going forward in any role that I have, I want to be as good as I can be for that organization that I’m working for. And like I said, I couldn’t be more happy to be here in New England. Read the rest of this entry »
|Report: Josh McDaniels ‘hasn’t thought about anything but this season all year’||12.20.12 at 2:51 pm ET|
Josh McDaniels may not be headed out of town after all.
After a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Wednesday that McDaniels “would jump” at the chance to return to his native Northeast Ohio roots and coach the Browns, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday that there has been no such contact even attempted.
The Patriots offensive coordinator was raised in nearby Canton, Ohio and was a star at Canton McKinley before moving onto John Carroll University, where he played with Patriots personnel chief Nick Caserio. McDaniels is reportedly the third choice of new team CEO Joe Banner to take the place of Pat Shurmur. Banner, who is looking at hiring Michael Lombardi as the team’s new GM, reportedly has his sights set on Nick Saban and Chip Kelly.
“[McDaniels] hasn’t thought about anything but this season all year long,” a source close to McDaniels told Schefter.
McDaniels returned for his second stint in New England last December when Steve Spagnuolo was fired as head coach of the Rams and McDaniels was permitted to join the Patriots in time for their playoff run.
McDaniels was 11-17 in his first shot at an NFL head coaching job in Denver in 2009-10.
|Will Josh McDaniels ‘jump’ Patriots ship for the Browns?||12.19.12 at 2:57 pm ET|
FOXBORO — On Tuesday, Josh McDaniels, as he always does, did a lot of talking about the past game and the upcoming opponent for the Patriots offense.
On Wednesday, all of the buzz was about whether this might be the final few weeks of his second stint in New England.
Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns beat reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, tweeted that McDaniels would jump at the chance to coach the Browns.
McDaniels is a native of nearby Canton, Ohio and was a star quarterback for high school powerhouse Canton McKinley, where he played for his father Thom. He was then recruited by and played for John Carroll University in the Cleveland suburbs. He was a wide receiver for John Carroll after being beaten out at quarterback by now-Patriots personnel director Nick Caserio.
The irony here is rich. Last season at this time, it was McDaniels who was allowed out of his offensive coordinator job with the Rams to join the Patriots as a consultant in time for playoffs.
Would this be a distraction? Almost certainly not, since the Patriots have become experts in transition coaching beginning with the 2004 team that lost Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis at the end of a season that concluded with a win in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Just last season, the Patriots made it back to the Super Bowl with McDaniels working with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who left to take over at Penn State.
Cleveland is the place where Bill Belichick began his head coaching career, and Belichick certainly understands the rich tradition of football in Northeast Ohio, especially for those who grew up with it. Read the rest of this entry »
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