By Rikki Greenberg
“What’s your name?”
A question not typically asked by a professional athlete to a member of the media, but that and the “athletes love, but mostly hate the media” paradigm didn’t stop wide receiver Brandon Lloyd when he posed this simple question.
Fortunately, I already knew his name as he prepared for his first season with the Bears, reuniting him with former University of Illinois head coach Ron Turner, now in his fourth consecutive (offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears.
“Being able to play again for Ron Turner, as well as head coach Lovie Smith, is like a gust of fresh air,” said Lloyd. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
This is Lloyd’s first season with the Bears, but he has been in the league for six. During his time with the 49ers, the team who drafted him, Lloyd averaged 15.1 yards per catch. Lloyd spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons with the Redskins, where he pulled in 23 receptions for 365 yards and set a career high of 15.9-yards-per-catch average. During the 2007 season, Lloyd was placed on injured-reserve with a shoulder injury that kept him out for most of the season. In 2008, Lloyd was released by the Redskins and then picked up by the Bears, where he signed a 1-year contract.
When I had my exclusive interview with Lloyd after Wednesday night’s final Bourbonnais practice, I asked him how the crazed Bears fans screaming from the stands motivate him during training camp. “You want to make a good play so they have something to look forward to during the season,” said Lloyd.
Lloyd definitely gave Bears fans a sneak peak at what to look forward to in the regular season when he made a series of outstanding catches in the preseason game against Seattle towards the end of the second quarter, the last one ending in a first down with the Bears in good scoring position. With three preseason games under his belt, Lloyd has a lot more to look forward to during his time with Chicago. According to Lloyd, the best part about playing for Chicago so far is the coaching staff. “When I had my first meeting with Lovie Smith, he was everything people made him out to be. Just being with somebody who is as straight-forward and honest as he is has brought nothing but positive experiences.”
When a head coach is named Lovie, how could you go wrong?
“You can’t hate a guy named Lovie,” Lloyd said.
I couldn’t agree with him more.