Welp Notre Dame fans, here we are again staring down the barrel of yet another football season swirling with questions and naysayers about the Fighting Irish. Here are some of the immediate questions that come to mind along with some I’ve heard myself:
What will the Irish do without Te’o, Eifert & Lewis-Moore?
Will Golson return to Notre Dame?
Can Rees be a suitable “stand-in” for Golson?
Is Brian Kelly off to the NFL after this season?
Whoa…. Hold on… wait –what the..?
Let me be the first to say that Notre Dame, although arguably the most historical football program on the planet, has its issues and challenges much like any other program – I don’t believe talent is one of them. Think what you must, but Notre Dame will continue to compete at the highest level while maintaining the highest academic standards and integrity.
Brian Kelly and staff have brought the “swag” back to Notre Dame … and although it may be true that there are some huge holes to fill I’m reminded of a team in 1993 who had tons of questions surrounding its quarterback, tight-ends, linebackers and inexperienced offensive line – how did that pan out?
I’ll let you marinate on that one for a minute.
Allow me address one of the aforementioned questions specifically as I take a quick glance at the beginning of the season.
“Can Rees be a suitable stand-in for Golson?”
Are you serious? Stand-in? Ummm … let me think …errr …well … YES!
Look there’s no arguing that Rees isn’t as “fleet of foot” as Golson, but he is a proven leader and was called in several times last season to quiet things down for the pup when he was a little rattled? Anyone remember the Michigan game?What I’m simply saying is what you lose in athleticism and impromptu dramatics you gain a seasoned mixture of moxy, leadership and accuracy… yes, accuracy.
Lemme ‘splain …
Irish faithful, have we so soon forgotten that Tommy Rees was a starter as a freshman and was the incumbent starter until he met with an unfortunate “incident” of his own a season ago? Have we forgotten that Tommy Rees was the first freshman quarterback to EVER win a bowl game in the storied history of Notre Dame Football?
I reiterate … EVER.
Wait there’s more …
Did we forget that Tommy Rees started all 12 games in the 2011 season and had the second highest single-season completion percentage (65.5%) behind Jimmy Clausen (68%)? Did we forget that Tommy Rees had a streak of over 130 pass attempts without an interception?
Hold on … wait for it ….wait for it ….
Have we forgotten that Tommy Rees is a WINNER? He has a blistering 14-4 record as a starter and boasts more than 4,000 yards passing and 30 touchdowns in his career (“Turnover Tommy” nickname not withstanding)?
Relax people! Rees in my mind is getting a second chance; much like Golson will probably get if/when he returns in the spring. I believe Rees will play well and emerge as a leader for the widely questioned Irish during their 2013 campaign … at the end of the day he has to.
Now … for those of you who are worried about the sky falling without the Irish shaking down the thunder? Please … the quarterback position is the last thing the University of Notre Dame needs to worry about.
Oscar McBride ‘94