Lloyd: 'New England is everything that it's built up to be'

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Lloyd: 'New England is everything that it's built up to be'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady and Brandon Lloyd took some time away from the rest of the team, on Friday, to go over a few things on the side practice field.

It was a side-session that both players talked about beforehand, and felt it was necessary to get a little bit more familiar with each other.

"You get late into possessions, and you get into that 8th, 9th, 10th play, and you're still expected to function with the same brain capacity that you did on the first play of the series," said Lloyd afterwards. "So, it's good physical training, and it's good mental training."

Lloyd is happy with his first training camp in New England. And now that he gets to work every day with Brady, he's seeing the reality of what it takes to be a Patriot, first-hand.

"It's everything that it's built up to be," said Lloyd. "It takes every ounce of concentration and physical preparation and mental preparation to be able to function in this offense. They have a championship pedigree. And I'm just doing my best to get up to speed and to be able to execute.

"You hear about the Patriots, and you try to emulate it the best you can. It's just different when every person on the roster is doing it, as opposed to four or five guys, or 10 guys, or 11. It's definitely been fulfilling."

Slater returns to Patriots practice; no new receivers added to the roster

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Slater returns to Patriots practice; no new receivers added to the roster

FOXBORO -- Patriots special-teams units saw their captain return to practice on Thursday afternoon. 

Matthew Slater was back on the field behind Gillette Stadium after missing the start of Wednesday's on-the-field work. He's been dealing with a foot injury he suffered in Week 11 against the 49ers and did not play against either the Jets or Rams. Slater practiced twice last week but was held out of last Friday's work. 

Martellus Bennett, who is dealing with ankle and shoulder issues that he's admitted are plaguing him, was back at practice as well. Absent from the media availability portion of the session were receiver Danny Amendola (ankle) and safety Jordan Richards (knee).

One added note based on an observation from Wednesday's practice that running back DJ Foster spent some time with receivers: That's not necessarily anything new to him, he said Thursday. He has spent time keeping his receiving skills sharp all season, and that has included spending time with the receiver group occasionally. Foster does, however, understand the team's situation at wideout -- the team has three healthy players at that position at the moment -- and he realizes he has to be ready for whatever role is asked of him. The Patriots have not added an additional roster to the 53-man roster this week, making Foster a candidate to help fill in.

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

FOXBORO -- Martellus Bennett is willing to admit it. 

"Last week was probably my worst game as a Patriot," he told reporters in the locker room on Thursday. "But, you know, you have a bad game here and there. This week, come back grinding, and get ready."

Never was it more clear than on Sunday that Bennett has been hobbled by the injuries he's dealing with. He's coped with an ankle injury since Week 5 in Cleveland that has earned him the respect of his teammates and coaches, but against the Rams it appeared to severely impact his performance. 

He saw four targets and caught two for four yards. As a blocker -- the facet of his game that stood out more than his receiving ability early this season -- he was called for two holds and had difficulty keeping his assignments in check, both in the run game and in pass protection. 

Asked if he may benefit from a week off, Bennett said he planned to continue to play.

"I never thought about that. I just keep going," he said. "I'm like the energizer bunny. I just try to find a way. Sometimes it's [expletive] when you're out there playing with different injuries. You can't do a lot of things that you want to do. You have [expletive] plays. You might have a string of bad plays in a row just because youre dealing with different things . . . 

"But throughout the game you kind of find a way to get the job done. I think that's the biggest point. It may not be pretty all the time, but try to figure some kind of way to get it done. Sometimes it's adjusting as the game goes on."

He added: "The thing about this sport is it's always something. You never go throuigh a season without having some kind of nick or tear, but there's a lot of guys playing with different things. But some guys are able to play through different injuries, and [with] some of the same injuries, you see guys around the league . . . go on IR and things like that. But it just depends on the person and their pain tolerance."

Bennett was back at practice Thursday after he wasn't spotted there on Wednesday. He may be helped by the long week leading up to Monday's game against the Ravens. It could mean an extra day of rest and recovery.

Sometimes, he said, it's difficult not to be out there.

"Sometimes. Sometimes it's like, thank God. I needed that today," he said. "It varies each week. . . I'll fight through whatever and I think that's something that my teammates and coaches know about me that I'm going to try to give them everything I got no matter what."