BOSTON (CBS) — It’s just training camp in July, sure, but the connection between Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and new receiver target Brandon Lloyd is providing some early reason for some big things come September. Brady and Lloyd have already created a few highlight-reel-worthy plays through the first few days of training camp, a hint that the grand expectations set upon the duo may not be far-fetched.
Despite what looks to be a rapidly developing chemistry on the field, Lloyd, 31, did not want to jump the gun on declaring it as such.
“Nope. Don’t have it,” Lloyd said this weekend. “Not yet.”
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Perhaps “not yet” in the sense that they’ve yet to perform in a live game, but the two are certainly off to the right start.
Brady was a bit more open in accepting the fact that he had already begun building something with Lloyd, but he too said there’s a long way to go.
“It’s going to be up to us to decide that,” Brady said when asked how great his connection with Lloyd can be. “It’s going to be the kind of work that we put in. He wants to be a big part of this offense. I obviously want to help him become a big part of this offense, so there’s constant communication between the two of us. … I’ve thrown the ball to a lot of the [other] guys really, except Brandon, so he and I have some extra work that we’ve got to put in and a lot of talk and a lot of communication.”
That extra work has paid off so far, with Brady and Lloyd connecting for some long bombs in practice, drawing excited cheers from the record crowds outside Gillette Stadium. Brady says it’s evident that even though Lloyd’s never played in New England, his experience working with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels allowed him to enter camp already up to speed regarding the playbook.
“He knows what he’s doing out there,” Brady said. “It’s not like there’s a lot of studying the playbook.”
That’s obviously a sharp contrast with Chad Ochocinco, last year’s big addition at wide receiver who did not pan out in the least. The veteran who was a Pro Bowler not long ago never grasped the Patriots’ playbook and was never a factor in his one season on the team. While only time will tell if Lloyd can definitely avoid a similar fate, the man who had nearly 1,500 receiving yards two years ago in Denver expressed confidence that he’d “eventually” get on the same level as Brady and the rest of the offense.
“It just happens. Most of the time that kind of stuff happens when we’re in the game and everybody’s just on the same level,” Lloyd said. “You can talk and you can discuss and practice a lot of stuff, but you really figure things out in the game-time situations.”
Fortunately for everybody waiting to see that happen, they’ll have their chance soon.