FOXBORO -- Minicamp began for the Patriots on Tuesday, the first of three consecutive days of mandatory practices. Here are a few quick-hit thoughts from the session.
* Malcolm Butler was present and accounted for after missing the first open OTA session of the spring two weeks ago. The third-year corner will be a restricted free agent after this season. He's set to earn $600,000 in base salary in 2016.
* Patriots missing from the practice were Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Shaq Mason, Josh Kline, Tre' Jackson, Nate Ebner, Dion Lewis, Duron Harmon, LeGarrette Blount and Logan Ryan.
* Long-snapper Joe Cardona, who made headlines this offseason because there was some uncertainty surrounding his availability to the Patriots as he honors his commitment to the Navy, was present for the practice.
* Speaking of Navy, the Midshipmen football coaching staff visited Foxboro to take in the practice. Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who has longtime ties to the Navy program, spent a few minutes early in the practice speaking to the coaches before they broke off to monitor individual position groups.
* Former Patriots receiver Troy Brown, a member of the team's Hall of Fame, helped the coaching staff at Tuesday's workout. He could be seen working with wideouts early in the session as they ran combination routes against corners and linebackers. Former Patriots running back Sammy Morris was also seen working with the coaching staff once again. He was present for the open OTA session two weeks ago.
* Linebacker Jamie Collins, who has become adept in pass coverage during his first three pro seasons, was spotted working alongside defensive backs as they honed their communication during 2-on-2 drills.
* The team practiced under cloud cover for much of the session, though the rain held off. Players wore shorts and practice jerseys with helmets.
* Tom Brady and Martellus Bennett spent a side session together while most of the rest of the team focused on special teams. The pair, apparently focused on developing their on-field connection, did something similar during the first week of OTAs.
* Brady has generally been very accurate during the two practices that have been open to the media, though he seemed to get crossed up with one of his targets when he was picked off by Rob Ninkovich during a 3-on-4 passing period.
* Aaron Dobson made the most impressive catch of the day, beating double-coverage down the field and reeling in a long Jimmy Garoppolo throw with one hand while falling down in the end zone.
Phil Perry can be followed on Twitter: @PhilAPerry