B Lloyd Discusses His Benching
Brandon Lloyd was on the Junkies yesterday for an extended, fairly frank discussion of his benching, and why things don't appear to be working out. There is a massive split in media land about young Mr. Lloyd, a split which I'd argue nicely lines up along the lines of dying media vs. the media's online rebirth. Those who value the entertainment value of sports above the Xs and Ox (i.e., me) can't help but root for Lloyd. Those who believe football is war do not; they also mock me for rooting for Lloyd. (Cue: next week's locker room media fight).
The Junkies are evidently like me; once talking to him and realizing how smart and funny and down-to-earth he is, they were totally on his side. The beat writers are more concerned with the fact that they all have as many touchdown receptions with the Redskins as B-Lloyd, and thus are sort of over the funny and down-to-earth bit. Regardless, the podcast is available here, and here are some highlights:
The most important thing came right at the beginning, when Lloyd was asked why James Thrash is now starting ahead of him.
"The reason why is because during the Miami Dolphins game, the guy intercepted the ball and I was loafing afterwards; it's true, yeah," he said.
He said he was told he was being demoted in a meeting with Joe Gibbs. Later, he was asked whether Gibbs gave him any indication that he'd be able to work his way back into the lineup.
"And that was the question," Lloyd said, "and, you know, the response is just to work hard. It's pretty vague."
He was asked about his reputation as a distraction/malcontent/bad seed: "It's overblown," he said. "I think the difference between me and a lot of other players is, a lot of players will say that playing football is fun, it's not a job. I really approach it like that so I'm gonna have my fun. Yeah, the timing might be bad, yeah I might be being myself after a loss--last season, after several losses in a row. I'm gonna continue to be myself, and I think that just gets misinterpreted as I don't care."
And he was asked whether coaches thus see him as someone who doesn't care.
"I'm not trying to put words in their mouth, but that would be the only way I can get that," he said. "But I haven't heard any coaches say I'm a distraction in the locker room. That's just an assumption the media makes."
He was asked about his expectations entering last year:
"You know, I learned early when I came in as a rookie not to put very much expectations on football so I wouldn't be let down and I wouldn't be overwhelmed," he said. "That's why I always told myself not to have expectations, but coming here I just went along with what I was told, and I was told I would come here and emerge as the No. 2 receiver....and be the receiver we all know I can be, catch touchdowns and have fun."
Why didn't that happen last year?
"Because we wanted to run the ball," he said.
So how has he dealt with this new reality?
"You know, I don't read the newspapers and I don't listen to radio, I don't watch these guys on television. How I handle it is like I said, I continue to be myself. I think that this whole process matured me a lot in the NFL, in the sense of how to handle myself, and not necessarily have so much fun. I mean, I know what I can do. I have the utmost confidence in what I can do, and whatever is gonna happen to me at the end of this season has already been decided, I'm sure of it. All I can do is worry about this season and how I can help this team, That the only thing I can focus me, that's the only thing that's getting me by."
He didn't want to answer exactly how he feels about McCardell and Caldwell; the Junks speculated that he didn't want to get in anyone's doghouse.
"I'm already in the doghouse," he said with a laugh. "But the point is, I'm focusing on this season, and that's it."
So is he beating himself up?
"Bro, I can't do that," he said, "because I know I'm a lot more talented than that, and my teammates know it."
Ah yes, his teammates. He told the Junks that his teammates were responsible for his catch on Sunday, that several of them called up to Al Saunders in the box and asked for Lloyd to be given a chance.
"I wasn't gonna be in," he said. "They told me they went and got on the phone upstairs and told Al to put me in. It felt good to know that my teammates were there. I knew they had my back, because they always talk to me and try to keep me encouraged and keep me positive, and then to hear that on the sidelines...."
There was some other stuff about the defense and Halo and rapping and whether the Area 51 safeties unload on the receivers during practice. ("Oh heck no," Lloyd said, "Sean Taylor told me when I got here, 'I'm not gonna hit you,' [and] I'm like, 'good.' Seriously, there's no way those guys could hit us in practice, we wouldn't make it."
And finally, there was B-Lloyd's parting message to the world, which no matter the difference in particulars, definitely had traces of LaVar:
"I just want to let the D.C. fans know that my head's not out of it," he said. "I'm completely focused, and I think we've got an awesome thing going."
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