It was the calm before the hitting storm begins Saturday as the Patriots enjoyed another sun-splashed day on Day 2 of training camp. Here are some observations:
■ Center David Andrews and defensive end Michael Bennett (excused, personal matter) were absent from practice.
■ Rookie tackle Yodny Cajuste (nonfootball injury list) and veteran offensive lineman Cole Croston (physically unable to perform list) also were not spotted.
■ Receiver Julian Edelman (NFI), running back Sony Michel (PUP), receiver Demaryius Thomas (PUP), defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. (PUP), safety Nate Ebner (PUP), and rookie cornerback Ken Webster (PUP) were present, but didn’t participate outside of stretching.
■ Quarterback Tom Brady wasn’t in uniform, but participated in stretching and then served in more of an observing/coaching role.
INJURIES: Rookie defensive tackle Byron Cowart left practice about 30 minutes early after having his knee looked at by staff. He left under his own power and didn’t appear to be in any pain.
DRESS CODE: Shorts and shells.
CALL TO ARMS
■ Brian Hoyer went 11 of 14 during full team competitive drills. He showed good zip on his passes. He had one tough session where he went 3 of 7 but definitely got stronger as the day went on. The 11-year veteran’s best pass was a seed down the seam on which Matt LaCosse made a nice catch in traffic for a touchdown.
■ Jarrett Stidham was 9 of 12 during 11 on 11 drills, and like Hoyer, he struggled for stretches before turning it around. Stidham had one 2-of-6 stretch where he was picked off by Obi Melifonwu and Duke Dawson. The rookie capped his day with a 5-for-5 performance in his last set, including a beautiful dime to James White on a wheel route.
■ Maurice Harris is building off his strong minicamp performance by stringing together his second straight solid day. Harris’s best play of the day came when he circled back in the end zone to snag a pass from a rolling Jarrett Stidham. Phillip Dorsett beat rookie corner Joejuan Williams on a deep post route (call it 40 yards) from Hoyer. Jakobi Meyers made a nifty diving catch from Stidham late in the day.
Obi Melifonwu, Duke Dawson, and Devin McCourty all had interceptions. Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, and Terrence Brooks had pass breakups. Brooks’s deflection led to Devin McCourty’s theft.
ODDS AND ENDS
■ Danny Etling continued to work with the receivers, but as on Day 1, he stayed late after practice to get some throwing in. During one series, Etling lined up as a quarterback on one play and then as a slot receiver on the next snap.
■ Isaiah Wynn and Deatrich Wise Jr. did a lot of work on the lower conditioning field before returning just in time to run the famed hills at the end of the workout.
■ Another strong crowd turned out and camp staffers warmed them up with a Rob Gronkowski trivia contest.
■ Alex Guerrero, Tom Brady’s fitness guru and partner in the TB12 franchise, was on hand for the early part of practice.
■ The wet ball drill returned as Hoyer, Stidham, and Etling were tossed soaked balls from a cooler before firing them to receivers.
■ The punters began what should be a rousing competition throughout the summer. Incumbent Ryan Allen and rookie Jake Bailey both blasted some long-distance jobs on another picture-perfect day. The height that Bailey gets on his kicks is outstanding.
N’Keal Harry, Patrick Chung, Phillip Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, and Gunner Olszewski rotated as the punt returners.
■ Nick Caserio and tight ends coach Nick Caley worked a couple of tutorial sessions. First with Benjamin Watson, Stephen Anderson, and Matt LaCosse. In the second, newcomer Lance Kendricks joined the fun.
■ Jarrett Stidham was at the helm for a little extra work after the team ran the hills at 11:15 a.m. and it produced two of the best plays of the day. Stidham first hit Damien Harris with a fade to the back of the end zone. On the next snap, Jakobi Meyers made an excellent grab while falling backward in the end zone with Joejuan Williams draped all over him. It was a perfect throw, perfect catch, and near-perfect coverage.
■ Chase Winovich came off the edge during individual drills and offensive lineman Dan Skipper got caught flat-footed and landed on his back. It drew some hooting and hollering from the veterans, who may have been hoping for a dustup.
■ Saturday: Practice: 9:15 a.m.
■ Sunday: Practice: 9:15 a.m.
■ Monday: Patriots Hall of Fame ceremony: 4:30 p.m.
All sessions are free and open to the public.