January 12, 2013

How Lloyd and other Patriots longed for postseason

This will be the first playoff game for the veteran receiver and several other key Patriots.

By HOWARD ULMAN The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)


WHO: Patriots vs. Houston Texans

WHEN: 4:30 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Gillette Stadium


His Super Bowl hopes ended last season on the field where he now plays his home games. The Patriots beat the Broncos 45-10 in the divisional round.

"Pretty ironic, right?" Fells said. "I did think about that a little bit when the phone call came. 'Oh, yeah, this is the team that knocked us off,'" he said.

"But I'm happy to be here."

Fells was inactive for all 16 games as an undrafted rookie with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006 then was on the practice squads of the Raiders in 2007 and Buccaneers in 2008.

He finally played in 2009 when he caught seven passes with St. Louis then totaled 62 over the next two years with the Rams.

But he had started only 11 games in his three seasons with St. Louis.

"It was an all-around situation for me going to Denver and being the starter out there as well as making the playoffs," Fells said.

"So I was able to check a couple of things off my list, but there's one big box that still needs to be filled."

Belichick has filled that box three times, leading the Patriots to Super Bowl victories in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

"He's a great teacher," Lloyd said. "The way that he teaches the game, it's almost like I'm not being coached, I'm actually being taught. That's been the part of this experience that has stuck out the most to me."

Lloyd caught 74 passes for 911 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games. On Sunday, he'll play a 17th for the first time after all those years of finding something else to do.

"I'd be at the Sundance Film Festival, on my way to the Bahamas, all kind of different stuff," Lloyd said with a laugh.

But a win on Sunday would keep him -- and the Patriots -- on the road to New Orleans.

NOTES: The Patriots listed five players on Friday's practice report -- Scott, tight end Rob Gronkowski, cornerbacks Alfonzo Dennard and Marquice Cole and offensive lineman Nick McDonald. All participated fully in practice and were listed as probable. They removed 15 players who had been on Thursday's report. ... Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s Sunday.


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