- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 7, 2006

He was defiant about his attitude, unapologetic about throwing his helmet in last week’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons and mum about his two sit-downs with Joe Gibbs. But Washington Redskins receiver Brandon Lloyd evidently said the right things in those meetings because Gibbs said yesterday Lloyd “definitely” will play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Lloyd’s status became tenuous when he was penalized 15 yards late in the Redskins’ 24-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. On Monday, Gibbs would not commit to playing Lloyd but confirmed his status following yesterday’s practice. It is not known whether Lloyd will start.

“Things happen from time to time, and Brandon’s got a good attitude about it,” Gibbs said. “We sat down, talked and laid out a plan, and we both feel good about it.”

Acquired from San Francisco for two draft picks and signed to a contract extension worth $29 million, Lloyd hasn’t come close to meeting expectations. In 12 games he has caught only 20 passes for 295 yards and no touchdowns.

During a six-minute group interview in front of his locker at Redskin Park, Lloyd did not apologize for the penalty.

“I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done,” he said. “I think I’ve made good decisions in my life and nothing so bad that I would regret it. I’ve owned up to it, and I’ve moved on.

“My intentions are good. I didn’t mean anything by it. I wasn’t putting myself before the team by throwing my helmet. It was a culmination of everything.”

Lloyd later added, “I have an attitude that is really good for a winning team.”

That statement caused several veterans to shake their heads in puzzlement and/or disgust. Since he came to the NFL, Lloyd’s teams are a combined 17-43 record, including 10-31 when Lloyd starts.

“He’s not a bad seed,” one veteran said. “He might have a few temper tantrums every now and then. He’s young [25] and wants to win. He’s not remotely close to being a [Terrell Owens] type. He gets frustrated sometimes, and he needs to learn how to vent it in different ways.”

Another teammate said Lloyd is a good teammate “but a little too sarcastic sometimes.”

Lloyd claimed his frustrations, which previously included at least two animated sideline conversations with receiver Antwaan Randle El, are based entirely on the Redskins’ 4-8 record. But it would be hard to fathom he’s pleased with his own play. He is one of the NFL’s least productive starting receivers.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Lloyd has caught only 38.5 percent (20 of 52) of the passes thrown his way.

A whopping 134 players (76 receivers) have more catches than Lloyd, 104 players (72 receivers) have more yards and 179 players have at least one receiving touchdown.

The only starting receiver with numbers as dreadful as Lloyd’s is Atlanta’s Ashley Lelie, who has 20 catches for 324 yards and no touchdowns.

“I think I’m getting enough [chances],” Lloyd said.

Lloyd became available last year when he was publicly critical of 49ers quarterback Cody Pickett and teammates grew tired of his attitude. But Lloyd said he and Gibbs have a good relationship.

“Everything was fine before [the meetings],” Lloyd said. “It’s always good to sit down and talk. As a player, it always seems like there’s a huge distance between you and the head coach. It’s always good to close that gap and really get to know each other. It was good to get in there, touch base and get to know each other.

“We always have been [on the same page]. There were some things he wanted to address.”

Lloyd revealed one point Gibbs made: Throwing his helmet gave the impression that Lloyd was unhappy with quarterback Jason Campbell and the rest of the offense. Lloyd said Gibbs told him he didn’t need to change his attitude.

“I’ve had this personality since I was like 5 years old, and if I thought it was a problem, I would have changed it 20 years ago,” Lloyd said. “I’m not going to change I’m still going to be me. I’m going to play to win. … He said he wants me to continue to be myself, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Campbell, who has completed five passes for 58 yards to Lloyd since becoming the starter, acknowledged Lloyd’s frustrations but said it would be fruitless to center the game plan around one receiver.

“As a quarterback, you can’t worry about that because you’ve got a lot of other things to worry about,” he said. “Guys get frustrated all the time when things aren’t going right. We’re 4-8, and we’re frustrated as a team. Some guys show their frustration in different ways.

“I can understand that he wants the ball and that he feels like he can do a lot with it.”

Even if the Redskins want to move Lloyd after the season, it would be difficult. He has a big contract and small statistics, and if the Redskins start shopping him, teams accurately would surmise he’s a headache who has burned bridges in San Francisco and Washington.

But Gibbs said, “He’s a young guy that means a lot to the Redskins. It’s always important that you talk and work through things.”

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