Brady adjusting to Lloyd's unique skills

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Brady adjusting to Lloyd's unique skills

FOXBORO - Noted musical connoisseur Chad Ochocinco no doubt knows a few lines from Bob Marley's "Waiting in Vain."

It basically became the soundtrack to his New England tenure.

Ocho never got it, despite promise after promise that he was this close to turning the corner.

So when Tom Brady mentioned Wednesday that he's going to need every rep with his newest wide receiver, Brandon Lloyd in order for the two to get on the same page, an immediate, "Oh, boy . . . " floated through the subconscious.

Is this "Ocho, Part Dos?"

Probably not. The problem with Lloyd is a good one to have. He already gets the offense. Brady just has to adjust to his otherworldly leaping ability and tenaciousness when the ball is in the air.

"He's got a unique skill set," Brady said Wednesday. "It's gonna take some time to get used to the things he does well. We haven't had anyone quite like him."

Asked if his ability to go and get the ball is what stands out, Brady seemed to agree, saying, "He's got great ball skills and great body control. If you get it near him, he's gonna catch it."

So what's the hangup?

"It's just sometimes a matter of, it doesn't really look like he's open then -- boom -- he springs open on you," Brady explained. "Sometimes you think he's covered and you get off him and then you watch the film and you're like, 'How did he get open?' He knows what he's doing to set the guy up and he makes the move and you gotta trust that he's gonna beat the guy and he does. It's just a matter of, 'Don't let your eyes take away from what he's doing in his route' because you know he's gonna get open at some point."

If there are lingering doubts about Lloyd's comprehension, receivers coach Chad O'Shea helped snuff them when he was asked how being part of Josh McDaniels' offense is helping Lloyd's transition.

"I think it makes a big difference. I think that the transition for him has beena lot smoother for him than it would be for a player that is not accustomed andfamiliar with this system," said O'Shea. "Thats really helped in the process of him cominghere and being a productive player for us in the offseason. It really has."

Brady is one of the most precise passers in NFL history and part of the reason he's gotten there is he stays away from too many contested throws. If someone's covered, he skips on to the next guy.

But Lloyd, who high jumped 7-2 in high school, doesn't just uncover downfield and laterally. He uncovers by outjumping.

"Brandons definitely very talented when the balls in theair on contested catches," said O'Shea. "This is something that hes done in the past. Itshowed up in our offseason work now, just being very talented when the ball isthrown to make a play down the field."

Brady, who dismissed the idea that Lloyd and Randy Moss were similar players, it will take time to "understand where he likes the ball placed and where he gets open."

"We've got a lot of work ahead in training camp and we'll need to use every single practice, every rep because he can really be a big part of this offense if we get up to speed," Brady predicted.

Belichick on Long's sack: One of the best defensive plays of the year

Belichick on Long's sack: One of the best defensive plays of the year

It came against a rookie quarterback. It came against an offense that averages a league-worst 15.0 points per game. It came against an offense that has fewer yards than any other. 

Still there are signs that Bill Belichick is pretty pleased with where his defense is after beating the Rams 26-10 on Sunday. One came on Wednesday when Patriots.com published its "Belichick Breakdown" for a closer look at a handful of plays from the team's most recent win.

Belichick called his team's third-and-eight stop with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter "probably one of the best good, team defensive plays we've had all year."

The Patriots show a five-man front, but linebacker Kyle Van Noy feigns a rush only to drop into coverage.

"Van Noy in here does a good job on the rush," Belichick said, "and also on the coverage on the back. Just good team defense. Good pass coverage down the field. The quarterback really doesn't end up having a lot of time, but there's no one to throw it to right away."

Belichick noted that all four rushers -- Chris Long, Trey Flowers, Dont'a Hightower and Rob Ninkovich -- all are able to pressure Jared Goff on the play. Combined with strong coverage in the secondary, the Rams nver really had a chance.

Belichick said it looked like a "tidal wave" of defenders bearing down on the quarterback.

"Long wins here . . . on the inside spin," Belichick said, "and Trey Flowers and Hightower both win on the little twist game inside. Then that's Rob with good speed-to-power on [Rams tackle Rob] Havenstein on the outside. Four good rushers. Plus a fifth guy...Van Noy getting that two-for-one on the guard and the back.

"Good team defense. That's great to see. A lot of hard work an execution on the practice field to make that happen."

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

FOXBORO -- They sounded like a couple of old pals. 

First it was Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who spoke of Ravens coach John Harbaugh during a conference call like one of his favorite fellow lacrosse dads.

"John and I saw a game a couple of years ago, a [Johns] Hopkins vs. Maryland game," Belichick said, adding that Harbaugh's love for the sport is just starting to blossom. "Yeah, I think John is seeing the light."

Belichick added that the two might be closer if they weren't competing so often, both in-season on the field and for free agents in the offseason. 

"As you know, we get into a situation like we’re in now where they have a good team, we have a good team, we’re playing a big game on Monday night," Belichick said. "Both teams are going to do everything they can to compete as hard as they can on Monday night. That’s what it is and that’s what we all signed up for. We all know that’s a part of it.

"When we’re not going head-to-head, which isn’t very often because we compete against each other in the offseason, we compete against each other to build our team and so forth, it just puts things in a little bit of a different situation."

During his press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Harbaugh echoed Belichick's sentiments. Belichick was famously one of Harbaugh's biggest supporters earlier in his career, calling the Ravens on Harbaugh's behalf when the franchise was looking for a new head coach. And if only they weren't so frequently competing against each other, they might be even closer, Harbaugh indicated. 

"I feel like we have a good relationship," Harbaugh said. "Like you said, we're probably not socializing that much, but I don't know how many coaches really do. We're all so busy. I'll see him or any coach at the Combine or at the owner's meetings, and we have a chance to talk. It's always good. I have a ton of respect for him. I really like him as a person. I think he's a great coach -- greatest coach of this generation. He's earned that title.

"And I study him. I've always studied him. I've always studied coach Belichick from when I first met him when I was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati, and he came in and just was great to be around.  [We have a] similar background with the special teams and that sort of thing. All of that kind of goes out the window when you compete against one another. It's like anything else, you want to win. I'm sure he feels the same way."

The recent history between their respective franchises is rife with emotion: There was Baltimore's irate reaction to Belichick's unusual formations in the AFC Divisional Round two seasons ago; there was the Ravens' supposed involvement in sparking Deflategate; and there was Harbaugh's subsequent denial. But Belichick and Harbaugh made it sound on Wednesday as if all's good between them.