Sep 22, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees (11) signals a first down for the Irish in the fourth quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 13-6. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Rees Rewarded with Opportunity in Washington


Shortly after the completion of the 2014 NFL draft, former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees signed with the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent to undisclosed terms. Rees will be able to compete throughout training camps and the preseason for a shot to make the roster and the league. Before the draft, rumors murmured over Washington trading backup Kirk Cousins, but the team has since commented about not even coming close to making any such deal. Colt McCoy also signed with the Redskins in early April 2014.


Ever since Cleveland prematurely gave up on McCoy when they drafted Brandon Weeden in 2012, McCoy has voyaged through a stint in San Francisco and landed in Washington last month. I don’t think it is too farfetched that if Rees is able to prove he has any ability to compete in the NFL, and since McCoy could at least be a solid backup for a few teams, Washington could trade McCoy for other assets.


Now, with the hypothetical out of the way, Rees did connect for 27 touchdowns and for over 3200 yards in 2013. However, those statistics are nowhere near the top ten in the country for either category. More importantly than the stats, the four losses the Irish surrendered last season kept the Notre Dame out of the national conversation and did not elevate Rees’ status for an invite to the combine.


In a way, separate from McCoy, Rees has demonstrated superb ability to win a lot of the games he started, but also winning games in relief of and injured quarterback, or to save a team from a devastating loss when the starter just doesn’t have it that day. Kirk Cousins is sought after and looked at as a potential starter in the league because he has been the guy who comes in and wins the game from an injured or ineffective quarterback. (For RGIII, the ineffectiveness was caused by the knee injury)


For Washington fans and for everyone to see, RGIII is an incredible talent, and for your sake, I hope you do not have to cheer for Tommy Rees in a regular season game for any other reason than blowing the opponent out by 50. For the Washington organization, Colt McCoy has proven he can win games in the NFL, and Rees, with a similar style and less value, will have the chance to prove his worth. If he impresses Jay Gruden and the new coaching staff, based on Cousins and McCoy’s value across the league, Rees may be able to find a place on the roster in D.C.


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  • Eddie Ganim

    Seems like everyone has nothing but negative to say when Tommy Rees is mentioned. Sure, they talk about his ability to win games both as a starter and in relief, but then it is quickly followed with, well… The games they lost were his fault and re that’s what kept them out of the NC picture. WRONG: The defense unlike 2012 was the reason why Notre Dame was absent from the 2013 NC campaign. Too many big plays both in the air and on the ground along with their ineffectiveness in stopping their opponents in the red zone unlike 2012 is yet another reason. The lack of on the field leadership from the defensive side of the ball was the tale of the tape in those regards.

    Then they say, well…Rees did throw for 3200 yards and 27 TD’S. But once again let’s hit him in the head again by saying that neither of those stats were in the top 10 of the country. That statement holds absolutely NO WATER at all because here we go with the stats thing and yardage! Sure they weren’t in either category because they DID NOT THROW THE BALL AS MANY OF THE TEAMS that did lead in those categories! Bottom line is that Tommy Rees went out as a winner at Notre Dame. Was he the greatest QB in Notre Dame history? No. But he did take an offensive football team that lost a majority of their skilled players due to graduation or the NFL Draft and was capable of being proficient with a host of players that had not earned their stripes and was a winner.
    On top of all this he was expected to go into the season as the #2 QB behind Golson before the academic debacle.

    The kid has a lot of Pete Rose in him. He has absolutely no talent, nor speed but he plays hard and gets the job done. He will do whatever you ask him to do and he will do it at 110%.

    I don’t care what those carrying the negativity with #11 have to say, Rees was a winner at Notre Dame, he will do his very best in the NFL regardless, and his football mind is something we seldom talk about. He was the only QB that could get this team out of bad plays and into good ones. I think he would make an outstanding football coach on any level he wanted to pursue. We need good men like Rees coaching football. Like I said he has a great mind for the game and if anybody can take a kid with no talent and teach him how and why, #11 is that man.

  • S B Flood

    Hi Eddie, thanks for your comment. I think we are actually on the same page as I must not have done a good enough job getting my point across. Tommy Rees has been my favorite ND quarterback since Jarious Jackson for all the reasons you mentioned. Notre Dame had ZERO chance of getting to the BCS game without Tommy Rees and he put together a pretty solid season in 2013 keeping the foundation of the team together.

    The games the Irish lost last season were not Rees’ fault. The point I was making, that if Rees were to have been a more coveted NFL prospect, the late interceptions vs UM, Pitt and the slight under-throw late vs Stanford could have had major impacts on the Irish’s overall record, subsequently improving his NFL stock.

    I completeing understand that many-many plays in each of those games, made by Rees were the main reason we were in the games to begin with. Also that Rees came in as a 3-Star prospect and shattered expectations and showed what it really takes to be a great quarterback at Notre Dame. The BTN replayed the 2013 UM/ND game last week and most every throw from Rees was on-point. I had to change the channel before too-late as I did not want to have to watch Rees miss a wide-open receiver across the middle before throwing into double-coverage for the interception. I also believe that if B. Jax had not been called for PI late in the game, Rees would have drove the Irish down for the “W”

    I don’t expect Rees to be perfect, my one knock on Rees is that he will sometimes predisposition where he is going with the ball, and sometimes it leads to turnovers.

    Also, in the article, the bottom line was that I feel that Rees has the talent to make the NFL. To me, that is an endorsement of an undrafted free agent, also considering that if Rees were to make the team, it means that he has to take someone’s job.

    I believe Rees has what it takes to play in the NFL, and had a few throws gone differently, it would have been easier for teams to consider him close to “elite.” It did not work out that way, but Tommy still is living his dream and has a good chance at making a team.