Lloyd could have a chance to shine in San Francisco

Getty Images

Eleven years ago, the 49ers drafted a receiver who would become one of the great NFL enigmas of the decade.

Underachieving for most of his career, difficult for some to deal with throughout it, receiver Brandon Lloyd nevertheless has talent.  But that talent has emerged only in flashes, and only when the right coach is pressing the buttons.

The right coach turned out to be Josh McDaniels.  In 2010, after generating a total of 2,370 receiving yards in seven seasons with four different teams, Lloyd racked up a league-high 1,448 yards receiving as a member of the Broncos.  His quarterbacks were Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow.

The next year, after McDaniels was fired, Lloyd landed in St. Louis, where McDaniels had arrived as offensive coordinator.  Lloyd accounted for 683 yards in 11 games.

The next year, McDaniels returned to New England.  The Patriots signed Lloyd, and Lloyd had the second best season of his career, with 911 yards.

And just like that it was over.  A free agent in 2013, teams were interested in signing Lloyd but Lloyd wasn’t interested in playing.  Then, out of the blue, Lloyd has been lured to the 49ers.

Coach Jim Harbaugh apparently has a knack for saying the right things to spark a dormant fire in a wideout.  Harbaugh did it in 2012, supplying Randy Moss with one final burst of “I play when I wanna play.”  Inevitably, Moss reverted to his old ways, moody and crabby and unhappy with his role.  The 49ers managed to delay the eruption until the days preceding Super Bowl XLVII, when the media obligations overwhelm even the most secretive organizations.

It remains to be seen whether Lloyd becomes a secret weapon in San Francisco.  With Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree serving as Colin Kaepernick’s primary targets, Lloyd will surely see plenty of single coverage.  The real question becomes whether Lloyd can find a way to click with Kaepernick, and vice-versa.

Either way, the move provides a low risk for the 49ers.  It’s our understanding that the deal pays the one-year veteran minimum to Lloyd, possibly with some incentives.  While he may not be the last piece of the puzzle, his willingness to join the effort prior to the launch of the offseason program suggests that he’s serious about playing and conscientious about learning the offense and becoming a contributor.

At a time when the 49ers have been dealing with a lot more bad news than good, Lloyd’s arrival provides a thin flash of silver on the underbelly of the dark cloud that popped up in the past week over a team that otherwise has plenty of great things to look forward to in 2014, as it prepares to christen a brand-new stadium and make a run for Super Bowl title No. 6.

19 responses to “Lloyd could have a chance to shine in San Francisco

  1. Yeah that’s good. But do you know what’s better than a secret weapon? A publicly feared weapon. That’s what you want. If you want to really intimidate other people that is. That’s a weapon you are well aware of yet also aware there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s scary stuff.

  2. Come on. Lloyd had an even better chance of being successful in New England and he blew it. The guy is a head case and bad news in the locker room. Notice than even when the Pats were desperate for receiving help last year, no call went out to Lloyd.

  3. wow florio, you almost posted a positive article about the niners. this isnt like you…..

  4. Lloyd will be used strictly on the outside at certain points of the game, I’m guessing 10-12 snaps a game, filling the Ted Ginn Role that we never filled last season. Looking for a home run a few times a game. Solid deal.

  5. Made a nice little career for himself. May have been better if he didn’t try to be a rapper as well.

  6. Lloyd has the talent but a well deserved reputation for despising contact. So much so that he will go to the ground rather than risk being tackled.
    A guy with some definite issues in addition to his “limited” ideas of what being a football player is all about.

  7. I guess the 49ers want a WR who can make spectacular diving catches because he hates to be tackled. He’s not great on YAC. He’s definitely talented,but God forbid anyone touches him.

  8. If he is going into this offense as the second or third read then I’m not sure how he is going to be successful considering the qb doesn’t look past his first read.

  9. ravens2xworldchamps says:Apr 16, 2014 9:52 AM

    Ravens beat the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII


    And couldn’t make the playoffs the following season. Thanks for Anquan by the way, that deal seemed to work out great for you and Jump Ball Joe.

  10. With the off season San Fran has had, and the combustible mixture that is the head coach and front office, sure, why not add head case to the roster. What could it hurt?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.