When Brian Kelly announced that Tommy Rees would be the starter for week one against Temple it provided Rees with something he had never had before coming into a season, peace of mind. 2013 is the first time Rees enters a camp knowing the job is his and that he won't have to battle for it. Now he can practice with a sense of comfort that allows him to focus more on himself and his play on the field.
With one week of camp in the books coaches and teammates can already see changes in their leader under center. They have noticed a more confident Rees compared to years past. Coach Kelly said he sees improvements across the board but pointed out two of them specifically. The first being his increased mobility. "He has kept some plays alive that he has not been able to do in the past. He has turned some negative plays that he has had in the past in to zero, plus five, or plus sevens." Kelly added that while those plays may not seem like much on paper, but when you are managing a game and you have a quarterback that can keep you out of third and long situations you will be in a better position to win. The other area Kelly singled out was his quarterbacks ability to throw the short fade with greater accuracy.
One of the major concerns coming into the year would be how would players, especially those on the offensive side of the ball, respond to a change in leadership from Everett Golson to Rees. Fortunately for the Irish that doesn't seem to be a problem at all. Junior wide receiver DaVaris Daniels knows his quarterback has what it takes. "His confidence is through the roof. I know he feels the pressure and everything but Tommy thrives in those situations."
While everything seems to be moving in the right direction now Coach Kelly did leave himself an out for the future. He has made it clear that Rees had only been named the starter for the Temple game and that if a change needs to be made he will make it.