Ryan Glasper is out. So is Jim Ramella. In typical, O'Brien/Bill Belichick fashion, the coach subtly informed TV reporters and journalists during Media Day that the two would-be starters, as well as two reserves, will not play, though he didn't say how long they'd be out.
"During reporting and physicals," O'Brien said in his opening statement, "we have four individuals who will definitely not start with us and maybe not make it through the year. In that foursome, [Brian] Young has a knee, Ramella has a shoulder, [Justin] Bell has an Achilles, and Glasper has a hip."
That's not a good way to kick off the new season. The secondary was one of the only areas where the Eagles were returning every starter, now that's not the case. The question is whether or not Glasper will be available at any point this year. The senior safety tore a muscle in his hip in January and had surgery in April, but it became clear this week that he would not be able to perform.
"That prevents me from doing a little bit," Glasper said sarcastically when talking about his injury. "Especially being a DB, all the lateral movement. I try not to be [disappointed], but how can you not? This is the first year I sat out of football in 11 years, so it's a little tough."
It seems coach O'Brien and his ineptitude for telling the future have rubbed off on Glasper: no word from the injured star on how long he'll be out.
"I'm just going to take it day-by-day," Glasper said with an "I-won't-reveal-anything" smile on his face, "see how it goes. I have no clue."
The same goes for Ramella, who, as O'Brien so eloquently put it, "has a shoulder." Before he went down, Ramella was slated on the depth chart to be the starter at defensive end. Now, a position battle will heat up as redshirt-freshmen Austin Giles and Brendan Deska compete for the starting job.
With Media Day came the team's first practice. If first-day formations are to tell us anything about the depth chart and how the incoming will freshmen fit in, there is plenty to report.
Check back for updates and quotes as we break down each unit and reveal what went down in practice.