The more things change, the more they stay the same. This saying certainly applies to the current state of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program, especially after today.
On Thursday, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly announced that embattled senior quarterback Tommy Rees will be handling the signal-calling duties to begin the 2013 campaign. Without even having some sort of summer competition whatsoever following the departure of last year’s starter Everett Golson, Rees will lead the charge–once again.
The move certainly can’t be considered a ‘surprise’ by any means. Rees is the most experienced of the QBs on the Notre Dame roster at the moment, which also include junior Andrew Hendrix and highly-touted freshman Malik Zaire.
With 18 starts in South Bend under his belt and more than 4,000 passing yards, Rees will look to end his Fighting Irish career, which has seen more downs than ups, on a positive note. Showing that he can overcome his wildly inconsistent play on the field will be more than enough to send him out of Notre Dame positively.
Although Kelly has made this statement about Rees being “the guy”, folks still shouldn’t get all up in arms about not seeing any of the other candidates on the field.
As said before, Rees has been somewhat the model of inconsistency. He’s had issues throwing the ball down the field, normally resulting in a head-scratching interception, and his lack of mobility out of the pocket is quite visible. It’ll be even more noticeable this season with the absence of Golson.
So while we’re treating this as if Rees is the clear-cut, definitive starter for all 12 games in 2013, don’t be surprised if you see either Hendrix or Zaire on the field early, should Tommy revert back to his usual ways.