Lloyd succinct when asked about learning curve

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Lloyd succinct when asked about learning curve

FOXBORO -- The shortest answers from Brandon Lloyd were his most telling.

Speaking with media after a Patriots OTA practice Thursday morning, the team's most intriguing free agent acquisition was asked if he'll have difficulty picking up the Patriots offensive system.

"No," said Lloyd, letting eye contact linger and his two-letter answer hang in the air.

Later, when asked if he'd ever been on a team with so many weapons on it, Lloyd was again succinct.

"No."

The often loquacious Lloyd could have emptied a bag of words to answer both questions, but his brevity is appreciated.

Especially in the wake of listening to Chad Ochocinco's bleatings last year about how hard the offense was, the time it took to get it down and how close he was to playing freely and without thinking.

Because although the Patriots offensive arsenal is loaded, the fact Lloyd gets the offense and brings a skill set that was missing from the 2011 Patriots makes New England better now -- on paper -- than it was last year.

Lloyd's experience working with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in 2010 and 2011 makes his transition simple on the Xs and Os end. It's the other elements of getting acclimated that will be a process.

"(I'm) plugging away," said Lloyd. "Getting into the OTAs and understanding the process and the way the plays are called and run and the execution of the workouts and the scheduling. It's been a change and I'm excited to see how everything works out."

Asked about Tom Brady, Lloyd said he's learned that, "He's good. He's good from far away and he's good up close."

And the differences he's seeing in the team-wide atmosphere?

"The coaching, the way that the message is delivered and the way that the coaches coach and the players all fall in line," said Lloyd. "Its been a good experience so far."

With the Patriots' first preseason game looming less than 90 days away, the urgency to figure out the receiving pecking order is on.

Yeah, not really. This whole thing will take time to sort itself out. And despite the fact there are a bunch of names people recognize -- Stallworth, Gaffney, Ochocinco among them -- those players need to create their roles on this team.

"There are a lot of talented pass catchers not only that are on this team and played last year but that are new to the team and were successful at previous stops," said Lloyd. "Theres a lot of talent there."

Even though it's early, Lloyd said, the anticipation and excitement in the group of targets is there.

"Everybody has been communicating and excited. However this pans out, however the lineup falls, its going to be a talented group of players."

Enough said.

Rob Gronkowski appears to thoroughly enjoy himself at Daytona 500

Rob Gronkowski appears to thoroughly enjoy himself at Daytona 500

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski attended the Dayton 500 in true Gronkowski form.

He appeared to be there promoting Monster Energy drink, and was therefore hanging with the Monster Girls, who were also promoting the drink. Gronkowski's herniated disc injury, which required surgery in December 2016, does not seem to be slowing him down as he gets warmed up for the Summer of Gronk.

During the race coverage on FOX Sports, Gronk delivered a speed limit joke, which is sure to make the 13-year-old in you chuckle. (You can watch it here.)

[H/T NESN.com]

Curran: It's time to let the air out of Deflategate

Curran: It's time to let the air out of Deflategate

I think it’s time. Time to let the Deflategate wound scab over. Time to exit the active, raging, teeth-gnashing, petition-signing, lawsuit-filing portion of the program and let the hate follow its natural course into a slow-boil loathing.

If you are of Irish descent, you know how it works. Clear a big-ass space on the grudge shelf. Put Roger Goodell, Jeff Pash, Mike Kensil, Troy Vincent, Ryan Grigson, Jim Irsay, every shiv-wielding owner, all the cluck-clucking media and the legion of retired players and exiled GMs from Marshall Faulk to Joey Porter through Marty Hurney and into Bill Polian up there. Turn off light. Leave room.

When you need to piss yourself off -- in traffic, mowing the lawn, waiting for your coffee -- fetch ‘em down, blow the dust off and when you’re in a sufficiently foul mood, return grudge to shelf.

You rode the roller coaster. You’ve been there, done that and have all the T-shirts.

I came to this conclusion a few days ago, when ESPN’s Cari Champion interviewed Rob Gronkowski and asked about Goodell visiting Gillette. It was like playing “Get the Stick!” with a big goofy Lab. Champion threw the leading question, Gronk fetched -- tail-wagging --  and returned with a slobbery response that was completely implausible but still designed to dominate a four-hour news cycle.

"The fans are nuts, they’re wild, and they have the Patriots’ back no matter what,” said Gronkowski. “They have [Tom Brady’s] back. I’m telling you, he won’t get through the highway if the fans saw him. I don’t even think he can even land in the airport in Boston because Patriot fans are the best fans, they’re the most loyal fans. I’m telling you, they might just carry out Roger themselves. They couldn’t even get to the stadium in Foxboro if he landed in Boston."

Gronk’s just doing what he thinks he’s supposed to do. And Champion is, too. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Watch these mooks up in New England get all pissed off: “Hey, hey, Chowderhead . . . Roger Goodell . . . . ”

“F*** that guy, he better never show his face in Foxboro! But I want him to come to Foxboro so I can boo the ever-living s*** out of him and maybe barricade Route 1 like Gronk said we would!”

See? Works every time.

The irony is that the person mainly responsible for turning up the burner on this is Robert Kraft.

In May 2015, Kraft said at the owners meetings in San Francisco, “I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months. I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us, and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric, and we won’t appeal.

“Now, I know that a lot of Patriots fans are going to be disappointed in that decision, but I hope they trust my judgment and know that I really feel at this point in time that taking this off the agenda, this is the best thing for the New England Patriots, our fans, and the NFL, and I hope you all can respect that.”

Well, that blew up like an ACME bomb. And -- from that moment on -- Kraft has tried to recoup the fanbase that believed he sold them out by issuing a succession of calls-to-arms that the region has dutifully responded to.

The most recent was throwing down the gauntlet to Goodell by expressly inviting him to the 2017 season opener.  I mean, it would have been a conversation point anyway, but now it’s metastasized into something that will be discussed throughout the offseason, ratcheting up in early September and hitting a crescendo on opening night.

There is appeal to seeing Goodell squirm while knowing the Maras, Rooneys and Irsays will be sipping highballs and lamenting the caddish treatment of Poor Roger. But I still like the football better.

Conversation about the historic import of SB51, the legacy of Brady and Belichick, prospects for the league in 2017? I’ll take those rather than an ESPN “personality” who spent a weekend in Newburyport at a friend’s wedding telling everyone what the mindset of the New England sports fan is.  

But that’s not what we’re going to get. There will instead be ever-escalating predictions of the terrors Goodell will be subjected to fueled by interviews with tatted-up kids from the mean streets of Marshfield who wanted “Hoodie” fired when he let Revis sign with the Jets.

Unless . . . unless the region en masse decides to let its loathing mature. Mature to the point that when the carrot gets dangled in its collective face it doesn’t leap at it with teeth bared but instead says, “No thanks. Already full.”

Yeah. I don’t think it’s gonna happen either.