ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Broncos receiver Brandon Lloyd has shown in a Pro Bowl season that he can hold onto a pass like few others.
Holding his tongue is another matter.
Humble all season about his breakout performance, the eighth-year wideout took the chance to castigate those teams who failed to bring out his talent in a teleconference Tuesday night following the Pro Bowl announcement.
After a season full of catching bombs, Lloyd dropped one during the call. Asked if there's anything he would like to say to San Francisco, Washington and Chicago, teams that let him go, Lloyd responded with some salty language, then added, "and I mean that in the most professional way."
His profanity has attracted more attention than the acrobatic catches that earned him his first trip to Hawaii. He didn't back off his sentiments Wednesday, but vowed to keep his words a little cleaner.
On team's orders?
"That was a joke, to keep it clean. I can cuss all I want," Lloyd said, grinning.
He's definitely left cornerbacks cussing this year.
Lloyd's play has been a rare bright spot for a team in the midst of one of its worst seasons. He has 72 receptions for a league-high 1,375 yards, second most in franchise history.
He's also one of two receivers in NFL history to get his first 1,300-yard season in his eighth year or later, joining Brett Perriman, who had 1,488 yards in 1995 while with the Lions.
Better late than never.
And now he's getting the last laugh on all those teams that let him slip away.
"Things happen -- I was able to speak my peace," Lloyd said. "I said what I needed to say to each and every individual involved in the decisions that were made in San Francisco. I spoke my mind in Washington to the people that were making the decisions in Washington, and Chicago.
"I sleep well at night knowing that I said what I needed to say."
He's letting his actions on the field do his talking.
His sticky hands gained the trust of Kyle Orton early in the season and now rookie Tim Tebow. Lloyd has a knack for making difficult catches, demonstrating that against Houston last weekend when he jumped cleanly over the back of a defender to make a 41-yard grab in the second half as the Broncos rallied for a 24-23 win.
"He just goes out there and makes plays every week," Tebow said. "He's tough to cover."
Lloyd's reproach of his former teams became the buzz, overshadowing the news of him making the Pro Bowl, a positive story tarnished.
It's simply been that type of season for the Broncos (4-11), who close out Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. This is a team that's endured a videotaping scandal, the firing of Josh McDaniels, multiple arrests and poor play.
"It has been kind of a roller coaster emotionally for us this season, but when it comes down to it we just have to play and that is what I am focused on," Lloyd said.
Viewed as a journeyman receiver, Lloyd became an integral part of the offense once the Broncos traded Brandon Marshall to Miami in the offseason.
He's turned in one highlight-worthy catch after another, including a sliding grab on his back two weeks ago in Oakland, a catch that was first ruled incomplete and then changed to a touchdown after a replay review.
That's the way things have been going for him in 2010 after being inactive for 14 games last season. It was a trying period for Lloyd, who frequently ventured into McDaniels' office for heart-to-heart chats, the then-coach willing to listen. Lloyd played the final two games in 2009, showing flashes as he caught eight passes for 117 yards.
Lloyd turned in a strong training camp last summer to seize his chance, and has run with it since.
"This season just happened," Lloyd said. "Luckily, I was prepared for it."
He never doubted he had this type of season in him. Yet up until now, his best production was when he caught 48 passes for the 49ers in 2005.
"It was just about having the right mix of a play caller who believed in throwing me the ball and a quarterback who believed in throwing me the ball," Lloyd explained.
He had that in McDaniels and Orton. With McDaniels out of the picture and Orton sidelined, Lloyd's number is still being called.
"When people ask me, I try not to be arrogant and say I deserve it. But I do," Lloyd said. "I stayed persistent. I've been fortunate enough to go through this league and speak my mind and say how I feel and still have opportunities to continue to play. I feel in that approach, I'm clear of thought. My integrity is intact and that just allows me to go out and play."