As the region braces for yet another late-winter storm, enviously huddling around TV sets tuned to sunny Florida for split-squad Red Sox spring training games, quietly another sure sign of spring approaches.
Boston College starts spring football practice Tuesday, one day before the equinox officially marks the start of the season.
Originally, new head coach Steve Addazio had planned to get his team on the field late last month. But Nemo had other ideas.
The snow storm that dropped more than 2 feet of powder on parts of Massachusetts damaged the bubble that BC erects on the field at Alumni Stadium each winter, pushing the start of spring practice back from Feb. 28.
The bubble has subsequently been repaired and inspected for safety, and a new schedule has been drawn up.
So the fiery Addazio and his staff will lead the Eagles onto the field for the first time at 3:15 Tuesday afternoon, beginning the first of 15 spring sessions. The Eagles have three scrimmages scheduled -- on April 6, April 13 and April 20, with the last one the annual spring game.
NCAA rules specify teams can have 15 spring practices, the first two of which must be non-contact. After those days, 12 of the 13 remaining sessions can involve contact and eight of those 12 can involve tackling.
BC will practice five times in the bubble before it is scheduled to be taken down over the Easter break (March 28-April 1), with the rest of the sessions planned for the open air in Alumni.
Also on the slate for the Eagles is the annual pro day for the team’s potential draft prospects. Linebacker Nick Clancy, left tackle Emmett Cleary, tight end Chris Pantale and right tackle John Wetzel are all scheduled to work out for scouts in the bubble at Alumni on Wednesday.
There’s a lot of ground work to do between Tuesday and the official beginning of the 2013 season, Aug. 31 versus Villanova. Addazio and new coordinators Ryan Day and Don Brown need to install new systems and adapt to the personnel at their disposal. Players like QB Chase Rettig have to learn yet another philosophy while building relationships with a mostly new coaching staff.
A new foundation must be built if the 2013 edition of the Eagles is to improve on the 2-10 disaster that was the 2012 version.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.