For the second straight day, four players sat out the double-session workouts. Linebacker Chris Slade (knee), defensive end Willie McGinest (groin) and fullback Tony Carter (knee) are all recovering from offseason surgeries and should be ready for training camp, which begins July 30. Defensive end Chris Sullivan strained his back lifting weights and also is sitting out the weekend.
Wide receiver Terry Glenn continues to look strong in his return from a broken ankle. Glenn participated and excelled throughout the workout, sitting out only some special teams drills. There has been offseason talk speculating that the coaches will ease up on the work Glenn is required to do during practice in an effort to keep his tender hamstring strong enough. During punt coverage work, Glenn wandered off to the corner of the field and watched from one knee.
Defensive end Brandon Mitchell also looks strong as he also is recovering from a broken ankle. Wide receiver Troy Brown is practicing with an ankle brace to provide extra support for the ankle he sprained last Oct. 19 against the Jets. The injury forced Brown to miss six weeks and he never fully recovered last season.
Linebacker Ted Johnson, who underwent shoulder and biceps surgery in the offseason is not 100 percent, but is fully participating in the no-pads work. Rookie safety Tony George is hobbling his way through the practices after dropping a 55-pound dumbbell on his toe. Defensive end Greg Spires continues to practice with a cast on his right hand.
The only two players who were not at yesterday's day-one practices were on the field on Saturday -- Ohio State tight end John Lumpkin and Georgia Tech wide receiver Mike Sheridan. Both players arrived in Foxborough last night.
The competition at cornerback will be an area to watch when training camp opens next month. While Pro Bowler Ty Law is locked in at one spot, Steve Israel and Tebucky Jones are battling for the second corner spot. Israel is working out with the first unit during mini-camp, but Jones' improvement since last season is evident. During Saturday's one-on-one drill against wide receivers, Jones played tough at the line of scrimmage in bump-and-run coverage. His problem comes when he does not get a clean hit the line, allowing the receiver to get a step immediately off the line. First-year player Kato Serwanga also had a strong workout at corner and could be a sleeper heading into camp.
Third-year guard Damon Denson on new offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia: "He's a stickler on details and wants everything done the right way."
Tight end Rod Rutledge has shed 10 pounds off his frame, adding some quickness to his game. "I can run faster and I'm able to get open better," Rutledge said. "I think they see I can catch the ball and they'll give me more opportunities this year." Last season, Rutledge did not have a reception and has been labeled a blocking tight end. Rutledge made several receptions Saturday, but dropped one pass that resulted in a Kato Serwanga interception.
All rookies are placed at the bottom of the depth chart for this mini-camp and must work their way upward. At center, 1999 first-round pick Damien Woody is working with the second stringers. Therefore, second-year man Jason Andersen is getting his opportunity to work with the starting group. His offseason work and rookie season spent learning have led to a huge improvement. "I feel I have the athletic ability and the knowledge coming from last year that gives me a little bit of an edge," Andersen said. "If I get a chance, I feel that's all I need. The knowledge I gained from working with Dave [Wohlabaugh] last year is going to help me quite a bit. I watched a lot of film and talked to Dave a lot." Heath Irwin, who was making a switch from guard to center after Wohlabaugh signed with the Browns, is out of the picture at center and is working exclusively at guard. "It was a short-lived stint," is how Irwin described his month before the draft learning to play the position.
Former Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan is being inducted into the state of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame this weekend. Grogan played for the Patriots from 1975-1990 completing 1,879 of 3,593 passing attempts for 26,886 yards and 182 touchdowns. His attempts and total yards passing figures remain atop the Patriots' all-time leaders lists. He also is a member of the Kansas State Hall of Fame and the Patriots hall of Fame.