Lloyd still adjusting to New England's style

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Lloyd still adjusting to New England's style

FOXBORO -- Just days away from the Patriots' first preseason game, Brandon Lloyd has been involved in enough workouts with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to know what's expected.

But they're not quite where they want to be just yet.

"It's still a work in progress," said Lloyd on Monday, when asked about working with Brady and the Patriots' offense so far. "I think it's everything. From the landmarks to depth, and obviously, the stuff that you do on the fly. So, everything is still working."

Entering his first season with New England, Lloyd has never participated in a practice with another team visiting. He'll do that for the first time this week, as the New Orleans Saints come to town before Thursday night's preseason game.

But that isn't the only change in training camp he's seen thus far.

Workouts for the Patriots are faster than any other training camp he's attended, and this is the sixth NFL organization he's been in.

"The tempo is fine," said Lloyd. "It obviously has changed my practice habits, because it is a lot faster. So, conditioning is of importance, when you get into the offense here.

"I think it's good to go against another team, guys who aren't familiar with your patterns, alignments, and releases," Lloyd added. "So, the competition, obviously is the fun part of practicing. But, to go against another team definitely revs it up a little bit."

While Lloyd calls his fit into the Patriots' offense a "work in progress," director of player personnel Nick Caserio believes Lloyd's been just fine.

"Since Brandon's been here, day one, he's done a great job," said Caserio on Monday. "And any new player, whether it's a veteran or a rookie, they're all starting essentially from the same point. It's a new system, to a degree, even if you've played in this offense.

"He's come in, he's worked hard, he's done the things that we've asked him to do. And it takes time. That's why you go out there."

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable. 

Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws. 

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”

Agreed.  

Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”