FOXBOROUGH -- The Patriots held the second day of their four-day passing camp today on the practice fields adjacent to Gillette Stadium. Today was the only day of media availability for the camp, which wraps up Thursday and is not open to the general public.
Among the missing today was starting cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who had off-season surgeries to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in February and a groin issue in March. He was joined by right guard Stephen Neal, wide receiver Wes Welker, tight ends Benjamin Watson and David Thomas, and defensive linemen Jarvis Green and Mike Wright.
Neal injured his right knee in the Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants and Watson had ankle surgery during the offseason. Thomas and Wright are both coming back from season-ending foot injuries.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the primary purpose of the passing camp is instruction.
"It's a teaching camp," said Belichick. "We try to install a good part of our system and give them a chance to execute it and get familiar with it and hear it called and try to run it, just getting a chance to go through it on the field in a team setting."
Those who drew media crowds following the practice session were wide receiver Chad Jackson, cornerback Fernando Bryant, linebacker Victor Hobson, defensive back Brandon Meriweather and backup quarterback Matt Cassel.
Cassel didn't play into the notion this is a make-or-break season for him because he's in the last year of his contract and the Patriots used a third-round pick to draft quarterback Kevin O'Connell.
"I don't put any added pressure on myself. I go out and I try to play to the best of my abilities," said Cassel. "I try to get better each and every day and show that I'm the second-best quarterback on this team behind Tom [Brady] and prove that to the coaches and to my teammates."
If there was a noticeable player from today's session it was Jackson, who is entering a make-or-break year. The third-year wide receiver made a nice catch over the middle and his route running and focus appeared sharper than in the past.