Tommy Rees Rewarded with Opportunity in Washington


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

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.