Blog Entry

Brian Kelly showing a lot of patience with Rees

Posted on: September 26, 2011 12:07 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2011 12:07 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

When the 2010 season ended with a win over Miami in the Sun Bowl, the competition between Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees to be Notre Dame's starting quarterback began. It lasted all spring, through the summer and into the days before the Irish started the season against South Florida. After those months of practices, Brian Kelly decided that he was going to roll with Dayne Crist.

After 30 minutes of play in which Crist completed less than half of his passes and threw a costly red zone interception -- one that wasn't his fault, as evidenced by Kelly's tantrum with receiver T.J. Jones -- Crist lost his job as the Notre Dame quarterback. In stepped Rees, and he hasn't given up the job since.

Though he has given up the ball quite a bit. In his three and a half games of action, Tommy Rees has been responsible for 9 turnovers, with 6 interceptions and 3 fumbles. Those 9 turnovers are more than 88 FBS teams have committed all season. Yet, through all of these turnovers, Kelly says he has no plans on making another change at quarterback.

"Right now Tommy is 6-1 as a starter," Kelly said on Sunday. "He's led two very huge drives for us late in the game for us against Michigan and of course against Pittsburgh. He's obviously not a finished product, nobody is. He'll continue to get better and better."

While the Michigan loss can't be pinned on Rees, he did fumble the ball away with the Irish clinging to a 24-21 lead in the fourth quarter. He also threw 2 interceptions earlier in the game. Without those three turnovers, the Irish might not have needed Rees to lead that late drive to take the lead back and Michigan may have been in too large a hole to dig out of.

In Saturday's win against Pitt, Rees led another drive to give Notre Dame the lead in the fourth quarter, and this time it held. He also committed two more turnovers in the first half that made sure Notre Dame was never able to pull away from Pitt. Rees wouldn't have to be so adept at fourth quarter drives if he was able to keep from turning the ball over in the first three quarters.

Why is it that Kelly was only willing to give Dayne Crist a half before pulling him, yet has allowed Rees chance after chance?

The only reasoning that makes sense to me is that Crist is a senior and Rees is a sophomore. Kelly is approaching this situation like he knows his team is making progress on the field, particularly on defense, but that it's just not ready for primetime BCS glory just yet. Kelly is essentially using the 2011 season to prepare for 2012, his third season in South Bend, to truly try and wake up those echoes.

It's a calculated risk that, while frustrating for Notre Dame fans, could be one that pays off the next two seasons.

Since: Dec 8, 2007
Posted on: September 26, 2011 5:49 pm

Brian Kelly showing a lot of patience with Rees

Article is right on.  Christ is right now a better QB.  Rees locks on to his recievers and doesn't have the arm that Christ has.  I can't watch the games anymore.  Kelly is obviously playing Rees because he is an underclassman.  I can only hope he gets better and that Gholston takes the job.  Although if ND does well then how do you take Rees out of the starting spot.  ND is tough to watch with Rees at QB and it looks like he will be there for 3 years.

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: September 26, 2011 5:19 pm

Brian Kelly showing a lot of patience with Rees

All UofM fans say....."THANK YOU"

Since: Sep 26, 2011
Posted on: September 26, 2011 12:50 pm

Brian Kelly showing a lot of patience with Rees

You are not recalling the game correctly, which, in turn, makes the article poorly written and confusing. Crist threw a red zone TD that was entirely his fault. It was into the north end zone intended for Theo Riddick in the second quarter. He was pulled at the beginning of the second half. Tommy Rees threw the interception off of TJ Jones head in the third quarter to the south end zone. Briank Kelly blistered TJ as to show that it was not Rees' fault.

The leash BK has for Tommy Rees stretches from coast to coast while Crist's leash is shorter than Nick Saban. Crist had one poor half of play while Rees has been, simply put, bad, all season.


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