Patriots observations: More running; Lloyd's potential

Patriots observations: More running; Lloyd's potential
August 11, 2012, 2:12 am
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Let's make this clear. The Patriots have played one game. And by one game, it's more accurate to say that the players who will actually make the team played less than a quarter of one game.

But there are definitely some observations to be made in that small sample size.

The Patriots will run more.

Gone are the days when the Patriots will try to out-pass everyone and let their fate rest solely on the golden arm of Tom Brady. Instead, it appears the Patriots will try to embrace a more complementary brand of football this year. A solid running game will allow them to run out the clock late in the games, give their defense a rest and control the tempo - all good things.

Brandon Lloyd has the potential to have a special season.

Based on what we've seen in practice, Lloyd and Tom Brady aren't going to have an issue. It's been one connection after the other, and Lloyd has only been working with the Patriot's playbook for a matter of weeks.

Lloyd was only targeted three times in the last night's game against the Saints and his only catch was wiped out by a penalty, but his performance in practice offers reason for optimism.

The 2012 draft class will make plays.

Chandler Jones looked good. Really good. But how about we hold off on his statue in Canton until he's actually played a game that counts? People want that defensive playmaker so badly that they've convinced themselves that they see it already in Jones. Let's pump the brakes. There is no doubt that Jones has tremendous talent but he's still very raw and this was one game. The same goes for Dont'a Hightower, who had a monstrous hit, but still allowed the runner to gain another 4-5 yards after the hit. There's a great foundation and definite potential.