Posted Tue Dec 28th by Monty
First, the news: the entirety of the Denver Broncos named to the 2011 Pro Bowl is represented in one wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.
The only snub would be cornerback Champ Bailey (Devin McCourty, really?). But it’s hard to argue more than one member of the 4-11 Broncos deserved a ticket to Honolulu.
Lloyd leads the NFL in receiving yards (1,375 off 72 catches for a mile-high 19.1 average), and his 10 touchdowns tie him for 2nd in the AFC. The mark is well-deserved; Lloyd has been making circus-catch plays for Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow as the one pleasant surprise of the Broncos’ 2010 season.
Now, the hilarity: how does Mr. Lloyd feel about the first such award of his career? Any words for the teams and coaches in his career that underused him over his previous seven years in the league?
“Oh, I want to say ‘F— you,’” Lloyd said in a conference call Tuesday. “And I mean that in the most professional way.”
(Love it, love it, love it. Brandon Lloyd just found himself on this Broncos blogger’s jersey wish list.)
But it also makes one wonder if a bit of that f-bomb, professional as it may be, was pointed toward former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. McDaniels certainly underused Lloyd in his first year as head coach — Lloyd was benched for 14 games in 2009 and had eight catches in his other two. Then McDaniels used high draft picks on WR’s Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker this offseason).
Of course, McDaniels gave Lloyd his chance in 2010. The wide receiver must be least upset at his most recent former coach.
“Every year I have been in the league, there has been a receiver drafted high on every team that I have been on and that just goes back to the confidence I have in myself,” Lloyd said. “You can draft whoever you want, I believe in myself and I believe in my skill set. I bring a special skill set to the game and offense that I know nobody else can do — I know it. I know it and I have always known it, so it really didn’t matter. All I need is opportunities on the ball and I can prove it.”
Lloyd got those opportunities in 2010 and certainly made the most of them. It’ll be interesting to see if Lloyd can sustain this success in the years ahead. And it’ll be exciting to see, now that he’s emerged, if he can change roles and be a mentor to Tebow as the two aim to build chemistry heading into 2011.