Notes from Patriots camp

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was nowhere to be found at today's lone training camp session.

The reason for Brady's absence wasn't announced, but it's believed to have been a scheduled day of rest for Mr. Everything.

Matt Cassel, who is making the backup QB battle a no-contest versus Matt Gutierrez and Kevin O'Connell, took the first-team reps.

"I plan on being the backup quarterback, and I come out here every day and I get ready as if I'm the starter," Cassel told ESPN.com. "Today was one of those days because Tom didn't go. So I took all the No. 1 snaps.

"It's good for me to get those snaps. Those are quality snaps you can't (replicate) as the No. 2 a lot of times."

  • The Patriots must have felt a pit in their stomach when they saw trainer Jim Whalen hovering over cornerback Fernando Bryant, who went to the ground with an apparent left knee injury.

Bryant, the starter so far in camp, has missed a lot of games over his career. Another injury would send the front office to its Rolodex to find secondary help.

Although Bryant limped off the field, he later returned.

  • Safety Rodney Harrison knows how to toe the company line. He wouldn't bite when asked why he had been on the PUP list up until his Wednesday return.

"Just working hard to get better," Harrison said, drawing laughter from the media horde. "I'm out here. That's the only thing that matters. I'm ready to go. I'm excited, flying around and getting excited."

  • The Patriots resumed mostly situational work: two-minute, red-zone and down-and-distance drills. They punted from their end zone and hopscotched their field-goal unit around the field (Stephen Gostkowski missed wide left on a pair of 37-yard tries).

  • WR Randy Moss made an astounding one-handed grab on a Cassel pass that seemed destined to sail incomplete. Moss leapt straight up, snared the ball with one hand and fell backward to the ground.

Big whoop.

CBS analyst Randy Cross said it was only the third-best Moss catch he'd seen in his two-day visit to Patriots camp.