Brandon Lloyd caught a short pass from quarterback Todd Collins, then abruptly cut right to burst into open field. He slowed to a jog as he approached the end zone.
Running right alongside him during the mini-camp practice at Redskins Park?
It was associate head coach-offense Al Saunders.
"That's the way," Saunders encouraged Lloyd. "That's smooth as silk. Smooth as silk."
Saunders's description of Lloyd's skills is also an appropriate description of Lloyd himself. On the field, Lloyd is so fluid in running routes and catching passes that he sometimes makes it all look easy. Off the field, he is upbeat and seemingly always ready to offer up a smile.
It's safe to say that Lloyd has adapted quickly to his new surroundings.
Saunders and the Redskins brought in Lloyd--as well as Antwaan Randle El--to add a dynamic presence to the passing attack on offense. Joining Santana Moss, David Patten and others, Lloyd and Randle El are expected to provide plenty of speed in Saunders' timing-based offense.
In his five months as a Redskin, Lloyd has been ensconced in learning Saunders's offense. It's not easy. You can count Lloyd among players who were initially taken aback at the size of Saunders' playbook.
"That thing is humongous," he said. "It's huge."
Instead of implementing the playbook all at once, Saunders is doing it bit by bit. During OTA and mini-camp practices earlier this offseason, Lloyd and the wide receivers focused on learning the offense play by play, as opposed to all at once.
Regarding Saunders, Lloyd said: "He's a technician, but he also encourages you when you do something good and gets on you when you mess up. When you mess up, he always says, 'We don't have time for that.' If you mess up, then he's on you, but if you do something good, then he's on you, too. The positive reinforcement is equal to the positive criticism."
Lloyd arrived in Washington last March in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers. The 6-0, 192-pound receiver was drafted by the 49ers in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
During Lloyd's three-year run in San Francisco, the 49ers mostly employed a West Coast offense. Lloyd excelled in the system--he caught 48 passes for 733 yards last season--but the 49ers' struggles on offense and in the won-loss column discouraged him.
Talking to media at the June mini-camp, Lloyd took on critics who suggested that, while in San Francisco, he shined at making dramatic, acrobatic catches but struggled with making basic plays.
"I don't miss anything basic," Lloyd retorted.
He claimed that he had just six dropped passes last year, out of 129 balls thrown his way.
"I think the criticism [happens because] they got to knock you for something," he said. "But I did the math."
Lloyd says he is confident he'll produce for the Redskins in 2006. He points to the atmosphere at Redskins Park as one that is more conducive to winning and says his teammates have an appreciation and respect for each other.
Coming to a Redskins team that made inroads in the playoffs last season, Lloyd is eager to showcase his skills on a national stage.
Asked if he had any personal goals for the 2006 season, Lloyd replied simply: "Win. I just want to win. My ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl. Win, win, win. That's all I'm concerned with."