The sun continued to shine, the Patriots continued to sweat, and the crowds continued to come out as the Patriots conducted Day 4 of minicamp, their second straight in full pads. Here are some observations:
Defensive end Michael Bennett made his camp debut after tending to a personal matter.
Receiver Dontrelle Inman was not spotted after being on hand for the first three days. Defensive tackle Byron Cowart and offensive tackles Yodny Cajuste (nonfootball injury list) and Cole Croston (physically unable to perform list) also were absent.
Center David Andrews, defensive tackle Deatrich Wise Jr., and offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn all were in uniform but were not full participants.
Receivers Julian Edelman (NFI) and Demaryius Thomas (PUP), safety Nate Ebner (PUP), and cornerback Ken Webster (PUP), all were present but didn’t participate outside of stretching.
DRESS CODE: Full pads.
CALL TO ARMS
There was an uptick in passing on Sunday with Tom Brady looking crisp in going 14 of 17 overall and 10 of 13 during competitive 11-on-11 work. Brian Hoyer was a solid 9 of 13 overall and 7 of 11 with an interception in the full-team work. Jarrett Stidham’s workload fell off a bit as he was 2 of 4 overall and 1 of 2 in 11s.
Gunner Olszewski closed out a strong day with three catches from Brian Hoyer, including an all-out dive across the middle of the field . . . Top pick N’Keal Harry had a nice back-shoulder grab from Hoyer . . . Braxton Berrios made a leaping snag of a Tom Brady pass, that to the best of beat row’s recollection, was his first from Brady in a full-team drill since arriving last season.
Safety Obi Melifonwu picked off Brian Hoyer, his third theft of camp. The third-year player out of UConn has had an impressive start as he tries to carve out a role on a stacked defense. Cornerback Keion Crossen had a pass breakup and he, too, has had a nice start to camp.
ODDS AND ENDS
■ Dan Skipper got a lot of snaps as the first-team left tackle followed by Cedrick Lang. Skipper is a massive 6 feet 9 inches, 325 pounds while Lang checks in at 6-7, 300. Both played well in spurts. Joe Thuney was back at his familiar left guard spot. Ted Karras and James Ferentz took snaps at center as David Andrews continues to build his conditioning.
■ Second-year linebacker Christian Sam made the loudest play of the day, filling a left-side gap and stuffing Damien Harris near the goal line. It drew a huge reaction from his defensive mates and other than Tom Brady’s arrival, drew the biggest crowd reaction, too.
■ Big defensive tackles Lawrence Guy and Mike Pennell made back-to-back goal-line stuffs on Brandon Bolden. Guy collapsed his opponent on the first play while Pennell got low and wiped out the back.
■ Nick Caserio and Nick Caley held another tight end tutorial with Tom Brady tossing to Stephen Anderson, Lance Kendricks, Matt LaCosse, Ben Watson, and Ryan Izzo.
■ Danny Etling got the best of A.J. Howard as the quarterback/receiver powered past the defensive back during a one-on-one tackling drill. Etling played both positions and was again the last player working.
■ Phillip Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, Damoun Patterson, and Ryan Davis rotated as the kick returners.
■ Brian Hoyer had a botched snap and immediately took off on a penalty lap. Thinking it was a full squad infraction, Dan Skipper started to run, too, before he was called back.
■ Marcus Cannon ran a lap for a false start.
■ Mike Pennell and James Ferentz squared off in an entertaining and hard-fought one-on-one battle during a blocking drill. They went hard till the whistle (it was a draw), when Pennell gave Ferentz a respectful tap on the helmet.
■ There was another session trench battle after the main workout was over and newcomer J.J. Dielman was forced to run a penalty lap (his second on the day) for a false start.
■ Damoun Patterson had an excellent leaping catch from Jarrett Stidham during some 4 on 4s.
■ Christian Sam lugged Jamie Collins’s gear back to the locker room while Chase Winovich toted Kyle Van Noy’s stuff.
Monday: Patriots Hall of Fame ceremony: 4:30 p.m. (free and open to all).
Monday: In-stadium practice for season ticket-holders and Foxborough residents: 7 p.m.
Tuesday: No practice.