Practices for the Patriots rookie orientation finished without a hitch Saturday, and Bill Belichick liked what he saw.
"There is so much being done on an individual basis that there is no real great measuring stick for us," Belichick said. "But we could certainly see progress from one day to the next. We went through the results of all the testing we did on this group, and they were pretty significantly better than the guys we had in here last year, as far as the comparable draft choices and free agents. Now we have to wait and see how well that translates to the football field."
The players went through a pair of no-pads workouts with the focus again being on individual drills. The groups that got the most one-on-one were the linemen on either side of the ball and linebackers T.J. Turner and Yubrenal Isabelle.
Defensive linemen Richard Seymour, Jace Sayler and tryout Jeff Dyra worked in a group, while offensive linemen Matt Light, Kenyatta Jones and Drew Inzer were also isolated.
During the morning session, the wideouts and tight ends went head-to-head with the defensive backs. Cornerback Leonard Myers displayed solid coverage. On one play he managed to strip Scott McCready of the ball after McCready appeared to have a clean reception. Myers did seem to tweak his left hamstring in the morning, but he stayed on the field at full speed for the duration of both practices.
During kick return drills in the morning, Brock Williams looked impressive when he got by cover men Ronney Daniels and Walter Williams. Of course, the drill must have been slanted in the returners favor, because shortly after Williams' show, coaching assistant Ned Burke managed to get outside tight end Jabari Holloway for a long return.
The defensive players in camp did scrimmage work against a collection of coaches, with wide receivers coach Ivan Fears serving as quarterback. Fears' quarterback rating took a beating, as he was picked by Turner and safety Hakim Akbar. Turner's pick was impressive. He jumped up, tipped the ball with his left hand and caught it as he fell to the ground.
In the afternoon practice, the receivers and tight ends showed solid improvement from their previous workouts. Tight end Arther Love, who has earned the nickname "Love Machine" from offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, still has developing to do, but he made the biggest jump from Day One to Day Two among the targets.
Finally, kicker Owen Pochman continued to pound the ball. The Brigham Young product got a lot of work in, and he ended the day with a 53-yard field goal through the extra-narrow uprights used to improve accuracy.
The rookies will be in town until Sunday. After that they are off until May 16, when the three-week long passing camp begins.