Notre Dame football: 3 things we learned from the Week 1 win over FSU
Tommy Rees’ playcalling is suspect
It’s now the second season of having former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees as the offensive coordinator in South Bend. Rees was often criticized last season for his playcalling and conservative scheme, despite how coveted he was as a coach. He didn’t do much in 2021 to stop those concerns going forward.
Through the first few drives of the game, it seemed as though Rees was picking one drive to throw and then one drive to run. It didn’t make much sense. Then, you can break down individual play calls and less of the scheme overall.
He kept running the ball right into the teeth of the Seminoles. He ran Jack Coan on a quarterback power during a 3rd and 5 situation when Coan is known to be a slow quarterback who doesn’t run well. It didn’t make any sense.
In the second half, the Irish had a lot of success stretching the ball downfield with their much-improved receivers. Then, once a lead was established, he curled up into a conservative ball. Every throw in the 4th quarter was short and scared of a mistake. Run plays were predictable. Rees was coaching and playcalling to not lose the game. It failed.
Playcalling is a skill that you learn over time. Rees has room to grow here, clearly, but the Irish can’t let it cost them down the line.