Patriots' playoff newcomers eager to face Texans

    2013-01-12 02:55

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
AP Sports Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Across nine years and five teams, Brandon Lloyd never played in the postseason.

Now, in his 10th season, his wait is finally over.

Lloyd is excited for his playoff debut Sunday in New England's divisional round game against the Houston Texans. Cornerback Aqib Talib and defensive end Trevor Scott also are looking forward to theirs after four non-playoff years each.

Since he was ``a kid, the ultimate goal is to play in the Super Bowl and the only way to get to the Super Bowl is to make it to the playoffs,'' Lloyd said. ``This is a step along the way to the ultimate goal for all of us. For all the teams that have entered the playoffs, this is just the beginning.''

The Patriots wide receiver was with the Washington Redskins when they got there in 2007 but missed the last eight regular-season games and a wild-card loss with a shoulder injury.

But he made a smart decision this offseason. The likelihood of making the playoffs with the Patriots contributed to his choice of signing as a free agent. There was a good chance that a team that had reached the postseason in nine of the past 11 years would get there again.

The San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams never got that far while Lloyd was there. So he had little interest in watching the playoffs while on vacation all those years.

``If it was on the television in the hotel lobby or something'' he might take a peek, he said.

Lloyd, Scott and Talib all are eager for their first playoff action, hoping it will end with a trip to the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Feb. 3.

``Their sense of urgency is there,'' said defensive back Devin McCourty, in the playoffs for the third time in his three NFL seasons. ``They understand that they've played `X' amount of years in this league. I know a guy like B-Lloyd can't wait to step on that field and play in the postseason. Usually there isn't much you have to say to those guys. They're gamers and they'll be ready to go.''

Scott spent his first four seasons with the Oakland Raiders and never even had a winning record. He's contributed this season as a backup with three sacks in the past five games.

``It's pretty different. I'm definitely excited,'' he said. ``I'm just happy to be where I am now.''

Scott chose to sign with the Patriots as a free agent last March.

Talib had no choice. They acquired him on Nov. 1 in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he played his first game for the Patriots on Nov. 11 after completing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.

``I never got a chance to participate in the postseason,'' he said. ``First chance, I'm definitely looking forward to it.''

He expects the intensity to be heightened but his nervousness to be minimal.

``I've never been in the postseason but I'm not a rookie,'' Talib said. ``So once we get out there and the game starts, it's still football.''

Daniel Fells has some sense of what the playoff newcomers are feeling. He was one of them until last season, his sixth as a pro, when the Broncos made it.

``Being in a situation where you hadn't made the playoffs, you kind of felt empty at the end of the year,'' the backup tight end said. ``You get a little bit of fulfillment finally making the playoffs, (but) ultimately there's a bigger goal in mind. You have the excitement going into it but you've still got to keep your eyes on the prize.''

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 the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons.

``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.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Corey BrownNov 26 03:43p

Carolina Panthers WR Corey Brown (shoulder) has been declared inactive for the Week 12 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Corey BrownNov 26 03:33p

The Carolina Panthers have declared RB Brandon Wegher, RB Cameron Artis-Payne, CB Charles Tillman, WR Corey Brown, LS Danny Aiken, WR Kevin Norwood, DE Ryan Delaire inactive for Week 12.

Brice ButlerNov 26 03:33p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared WR Brice Butler, TE Geoff Swaim, LB Mark Nzeocha, CB Morris Claiborne, OG Ronald Leary, DE Ryan Russell, RB Trey Williams inactive for Week 12.

Timothy WrightNov 26 11:33a

The Detroit Lions have declared OT Corey Robinson, DL Gabe Wright, S Isaiah Johnson, DL Jermelle Cudjo, OT LaAdrian Waddle, WR T.J. Jones, TE Tim Wright inactive for Week 12.

Darrelle RevisNov 26 11:33a

New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis (concussion) wasn't spotted at practice Thursday, Nov. 26, and he's unlikely to play in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins.

Calvin JohnsonNov 26 11:23a

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is active Thursday, Nov. 26, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Matt BryantNov 26 11:13a

Updating previous reports, Atlanta Falcons PK Matt Bryant (quadriceps) injured his quadriceps in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Sam BradfordNov 26 11:13a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (concussion, shoulder) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 26.

Sam BradfordNov 26 11:13a

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared DL Brandon Bair, CB Denzel Rice, WR Jonathan Krause, RB Ryan Mathews, QB Sam Bradford, OT Tanner Hawkinson, TE Zach Ertz inactive for Week 12.

Peyton ManningNov 26 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (foot) will be out at least three weeks as his foot is in a cast for the next 10 days. He'll need at least [ More ]

Devonta FreemanNov 26 11:03a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) won't practice Thursday, Nov. 26, and the team is preparing to play without him in Week 12, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Shayne GrahamNov 26 10:43a

Free-agent PK Shayne Graham (Saints) will sign with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, Nov. 26, according to a source.

Mark SanchezNov 26 08:43a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez will start Thursday, Nov. 26, in place of QB Sam Bradford (concussion, shoulder).

Doug BaldwinNov 25 07:43p

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Tyrod TaylorNov 25 07:23p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (shoulder) said he will play in Week 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Malcom FloydNov 25 06:53p

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates (hip) and WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder) were limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Case KeenumNov 25 06:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Dexter McClusterNov 25 06:33p

Tennessee Titans RB Dexter McCluster (knee) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Kendall WrightNov 25 06:33p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (knee) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Mark IngramNov 25 06:23p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram's (shoulder) injury isn't expected to be a major concern after resting last week during the bye. It's unclear, however, if his shoulder injury [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 25 06:23p

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Leonard HankersonNov 25 06:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) is still bothered by a hamstring strain, and the Falcons may continue to take their time with his injury. Hankerson previously missed two [ More ]

A. Seferian-JenkinsNov 25 06:03p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Stedman BaileyNov 25 05:53p

St. Louis Rams WR Stedman Bailey (head) is out of surgery and will be in an intensive care unit for 3-5 days. Doctors are hopeful he will make a successful recovery.

Danny AmendolaNov 25 04:43p

New England Patriots WRs Julian Edelman (foot), Danny Amendola (knee) and Aaron Dobson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Glenn DorseyNov 25 04:33p

San Francisco 49ers DT Glenn Dorsey (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 25, after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 11.

Marshawn LynchNov 25 03:53p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (hernia) will return in three to four weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery Wednesday, Nov. 25, but he could be [ More ]

Matt ForteNov 25 03:33p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte (knee) and WR Alshon Jeffery (groin, shoulder) are both listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Nov. 26.

John BrownNov 25 03:13p

Arizona Cardinals WR John Brown (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Martellus BennettNov 25 02:53p

Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett (ribs) has been ruled out for Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 26.

Michael FloydNov 25 02:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (hamstring) is practicing Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Emmanuel SandersNov 25 02:23p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) is practicing Wednesday, Nov. 25.

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