- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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Throughout training camp and the first quarter of the 2012 season, we've seen Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd perform some impressive feats of athleticism, be it making a sideline catch or running past a defensive back deep into the secondary.
Former teammate and current Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey shared some high praise for Lloyd's physical abilities on Thursday, calling him "the best athlete in the NFL," according to Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post.
While the quote is likely to come as a surprise to most, it's a sign of the mutual admiration shared between the 11-time Pro Bowl cornerback and Lloyd, who in his first season with the Patriots has totaled at least 50 receiving yards in each of the team's first four games.
Though he spoke highly of Lloyd's athleticism, Bailey claims that he got the better of Lloyd in most of their 1-on-1 matchups in practice while they were teammates.
On Wednesday, Lloyd referenced those 1-on-1 battles, and expressed that he learned a lot playing with Bailey.
"There were good battles," he said. "And like I said, I learned a lot from him, from just a technique standpoint, catching, finishing the play, because Champ's one of the only cornerbacks I've gone against that the play was never over. You can even catch the ball, and if you're not bringing it in and protecting it, he'll find a way to get it out."
The veteran receiver understands it's never easy when facing Bailey.
"Champ is very talented when it comes to his film study and how he plays out there," Lloyd continued. "I'm sure the coaching staff is going to do a good job mixing up the routes and combinations that we're doing out there on him."