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."

Does Butler want to be with Patriots beyond 2017? 'Whatever happens, happens'

Does Butler want to be with Patriots beyond 2017? 'Whatever happens, happens'

FOXBORO -- Malcolm Butler came off of the Gillette Stadium practice field to a gaggle of reporters who had been interested in speaking to him all offseason. There had been speculation not too long ago that he'd be traded. There was speculation he might sign elsewhere as a restrcited free agent.

What he would say on those topics might prove to be informative. People were eager to hear from him. But it was what he didn't say that may have been the most interesting part of his first back-and-forth with reporters since Super Bowl LI.

In the rain, in front of a dozen or more microphones, following his team's third organized team activity practice, Butler was asked if he would like to be in New England beyond the 2017 season, the final year of his contract. 

"Can't predict the future," he said. "Whatever happens, happens."

Butler was given several opportunities to say that he'd like to stick with the Patriots for the long term, but he was non-committal. Though his presence on the roster for this season gives the Patriots a supremely talented cornerback duo, the fact that the team gave Stephon Gilmore a lucrative long-term contract this offseason makes Butler's long-term future in New England a bit hazy.

Playing for a restricted free agent tender worth $3.91 million, Butler was asked if it was difficult to separate the business side of things from his on-field performance.

"Not really," he insisted. "Just gotta come here and just play football. You gotta earn everything you want. Gotta come here, work hard each and every day. Nobody's gonna give you nothing."

He added: "Just gotta keep working. Ignore the noise, and just keep working. No matter what. You got a job to do no matter where you're at. Glad to be here to do this job."

Butler received significant interest from the Saints during the offseason, and he made a trip to New Orleans to visit the organization's facilities there. Unwilling to provide Butler with a big-money contract offer and turn over their first-round pick to the Patriots, the Saints decided to cease in their pursuit of the 27-year-old Super Bowl XLIX hero. 

Butler said he didn't wasn't always sure he was going to be in New England for 2017.

"You never know what's gonna happen, I was just sitting back patiently waiting," he explained. "Just doing what I can do, control only what I can control. I'm here now and that's what it is."

That Butler has been at Patriots workouts and OTA practices since signing his tender is an indication that he's ready to throw himself into the upcoming season with his sights set on performing as well as possible in order to put himself in the best position possible when he's scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency at the end of the year. 

"Wasn't gonna hurt nobody but myself if I missed this," he admitted. "This is extra time to get better, and that's what I'm out here to do. To get better and have another great year. Anything to help the team. Present a positive image."