Brandon Lloyd's decision to sign with the New England Patriots shouldn't come as a surprise. Between an owner like Robert Kraft, a coach like Bill Belichick and a quarterback like Tom Brady, there's a lot to like about this franchise. But it wasn't Kraft, the Hoodie or Tom Terrific that lured Lloyd in (but they probably helped). It was Josh McDaniels.
It's no secret that Lloyd and McDaniels are rather close. The two were first paired together in 2009, when McDaniels was the head coach of the Denver Broncos and Lloyd was in his first season with the team. McDaniels was fired late in the 2010 season, but the two would be reunited in St. Louis, where Lloyd was traded to and McDaniels was an offensive coordinator.
When news broke that McDaniels was returning to the Patriots, where he served in various positions -- including offensive coordinator -- from 2001 through 2008, rumors of Lloyd joining the Pats soon followed. As it turned out, they were true.
Lloyd and McDaniels haven't exactly done a lot of winning together, but Lloyd performed very well for two of the three years they've been together. Lloyd only played in two games in his first season in Denver but truly blossomed the next year, catching 77 balls for 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns, all career highs. McDaniels was fired after Week 13 that season, but Lloyd would remain in Denver through the first four games of the 2011 season before being traded.
Once again with McDaniels, now in St. Louis, Lloyd had another solid season with the Rams, reeling in 51 footballs for 683 yards and five scores. In total, Lloyd had 966 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the season. Clearly, Lloyd is very comfortable with McDaniels' offense.
Of course, that bodes very well for the Patriots for several reasons. McDaniels developed under Belichick during the height of the Patriots' success and was in control of the offense during the record-setting year in 2007, meaning he already knows the Patriots system for the most part. We already know that Lloyd likes McDaniels' system, which again was developed under Belichick, meaning that the two should assimilate well in New England.
Another factor to consider is that Lloyd had his success with quarterbacks like Kyle Orton and Sam Bradford. Now, he'll be catching passes from Brady, and it's pretty safe to say that Orton and Bradford aren't exactly on the same level. If Lloyd can put up such gaudy numbers with Orton chucking the rock, just image what he and Brady can do together.
Let's try not to jump ahead of ourselves, though. Why? Just because a player is happy to be with a particular coach or team doesn't guarantee success. Far from it. A good example is Chad Ochocinco, who before joining the Patriots at the start of last season was a well-known Belichick lover. Once the Pats finally acquired Ochocinco, the expectations were high. Alas, things didn't really work out (and that's an understatement). Ocho had 15 catches in the entire season.
Nothing is ever guaranteed in the NFL, but with the way things are shaping up now, it's hard for Patriots fans not to be encouraged about the offense. Brady will be Brady, and with Wes Welker back and Rob Gronkowski healthy (not to mention Aaron Hernandez in the fold and more time for Ochocinco to be worked in), adding Lloyd is the cherry on top.
We'll have to let things play out, but for now, McDaniels and Lloyd are welcomed additions.