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Brandon Lloyd Focused on Earning Role with 49ers

Posted Apr 28, 2014

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is taking one step at a time in his return to the team. Lloyd is solely concentrated on making the 53-man roster.

Brandon Lloyd isn’t looking ahead to Week 1 on the road against the Dallas Cowboys.

The San Francisco 49ers most recent signing doesn’t yet have visions of where he’ll be lining up on the field with starting receivers Michael Crabtree or Anquan Boldin.

Instead, Lloyd has a wise perspective on what his 2014 role will be with the 49ers.

“No clue,” the 32-year-old receiver told 49ers.com. “I have so many steps I have to take before I can even consider myself on the team, on the roster. Really, I’m just focused on being in condition and being in the right mindset to perform well at the OTAs and perform well at the minicamps.”

Lloyd was out of the NFL last season. He rarely watched games and elected to spend his time focusing on his many interests away from professional football.

The veteran wide receiver, however, was always intrigued at the thought of returning to the 49ers.

In return, the team wanted him back.

“We have a lot of respect for what Brandon is able to do,” general manager Trent Baalke said last week. “He’s a talented football player, and he’s a motivated football player. He’s still got some youngness to him. He can still run. He’s still one of the better route runners at his craft, and we’re glad to have him back.”

Lloyd, the team’s fourth-round draft pick in 2003, spent his first three seasons with the 49ers. Lloyd was traded in 2006 and went on to play for five other teams from ’06 to ’12.

But before Lloyd signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots to be Tom Brady’s second-leading receiver in 2012, the 6-foot, 200-pound wideout took a free agent visit to 49ers headquarters.

Lloyd met with coach Jim Harbaugh and wide receivers coach Johnny Morton. Although Lloyd decided to sign with the Patriots, he came away from the meeting with a positive impression of San Francisco’s new regime.

In 2013, when Lloyd’s one-year contract ended with New England, the 49ers reached out again to the veteran receiver.

Lloyd, at the time, seemed content to step away from football.

This offseason, however, the crafty receiver wanted to return to the 49ers for his 12th season.

The chance to play for Harbaugh was a big part of it.

“Coach Harbaugh’s personality, the way he words things,” Lloyd said, “it’s cut and dry. It’s straight to the point and it’s very repeatable.

“As a player, you’re saying it and you’re thinking it.”

Lloyd said he appreciated Harbaugh’s consistency in their brief conversations.

“He’s not one to waiver on where he stands on issues,” Lloyd said. “The passion resonates well.”

Lloyd’s current teammates have displayed their passion for the game in the first week of the team’s offseason program.

The only remaining members of the ’05 team he played on are running back Frank Gore and reserve offensive lineman Adam Snyder.

Lloyd, who joins Boldin and Kassim Osgood as three wide receivers on the roster that all entered the NFL in ’03, said he feels a sense of pride from the longevity of his career.

In that sense, Lloyd isn’t the only receiver with wisdom to share to younger teammates.

“I think it’s not so much about age, it’s about relevance,” Lloyd said. “Longevity is an attribute and it’s a coveted attribute that not many NFL players are blessed with. It’s something to be celebrated because having guys who’ve had a lot of success in the NFL is great for the locker room.”

Lloyd’s presence on the roster, however, doesn’t greatly influence San Francisco’s plans for the 2014 NFL Draft.

“It gives you a little more freedom, but when a player has been away from the year, away from the game, there’s some unpredictability on where he is,” Baalke said. “It’s not going to change our approach too much. We’re still going to look at the wide receiver position as we are every other position.”


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