S3E2: Looking Back at the Good, and the bad, of Tommy Rees as Notre Dame OC; and Looking to the Future

Notre Dame is in search of an offensive coordinator after Tommy Rees decided to leave the program for the same job at Alabama. We take a look at the move itself, what it means for Notre Dame, and look back at Rees time at Notre Dame. 

(Note: this was recorded before the news of Collin Klein and Andy Ludwig’s candidacy for the position)

  • Why we think the move was just a bit weird, given what Notre Dame has lined up on offense
  • Touch on the weirdness of the arranged marriage between Rees and Marcus Freeman
  • A few grips about Rees over the years, including misjudging his personnel constantly 
  • Rees the playcaller
  • Why this is a huge opportunity and risk for Freeman 
  •  The Eagles being NFC Championships and Frank losing his mind leading up to the Super Bowl 
  • Why the open OC position should be attractive to any aspiring OC


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    1. The predictable covering for the major fail at OC is a clear indication that the decline will continue.Parker and Freeman will be exposed this season.Horrible hire after getting a top QB through the portal

    2. David – it would serve everyone’s best interest if yo rooted for someone other than Notre Dame, please. 75% of what you state is fact is bogus, You don’t know and don’t care if the bs that spews out of your keyboard is real. Do us all afavor and take your meds.

  1. I posted this 10 days go, in the immediate aftermath of Rees bolting to the Big Time:

    “….Next season went from looking pretty darn good to currently in some doubt. And if another shoe were to unexpectedly drop, I might be right back to checking the SEC schedule for my Fall Saturday football viewing…..”
    Well, that “shoe” has turned out to be a few. And not shoes, but big wet turds.
    (Bon voyage, Harry H. I doubt this was your plan.)

    So after a decade plus of the Zombie Pufferfish, I got to watch one season of on-the-job head coach training, then a couple of offseason weeks of having real QB on the roster….and now it’s gone right back to shit.

    Meanwhile, there are more new brand name assistants headed to SEC staffs in the past week than ND has hired in my lifetime.

  2. BTW, Shithead Keith….
    Did you know that Fuckface Kelly’d QB at GVSU…the guy that delivered him the only 2 championships he’ll ever get, AND handed him his entire, fraudulent career….died in a tragic accident related to with CTE complications in 2017 ?

    The family sued the NCAA and they just lost the case. But they could have and should have sued those charged with actually taking care of him…like, say, thestaff and coach of the team.

    So that’s a total of two deaths on Kelly’s watch so far.

  3. So the ripping of Parker has already begun with a flurry….to avoid the last-minute rush in case he takes the job.
    I mean, who wouldn’t, right ?!?

    Instead of ‘getting’ that ND football of yore is LONG gone, and y’all even CONTEMPLATING a moment of self-awareness, it is instead immediately off to now ripping Parker, lynching Swarbrick, and cussing out Notre Dame.

    My advice: Admit to yourself that Rees was actually doing ND a solid by being at this program, that his leaving was completely predictable, the timing of it a nightmare for next season, and you’re a bunch of braindead idiots.

    1. You’re delusional. We had a coach delivering 10 win seasons and playoff appearances and you wanted him gone because you don’t like him personally.

      Now we have a worse coach and worse assistants and you’re lecturing people on reflection and acceptance?

      Man, I don’t like to resort to name calling, but you are the biggest idiot—not necessarily stupid-but like the kind of idiot who makes everything they’re involved in worse because of their hypocrisy, mental inconsistency, and total and complete lack of self awareness.

      An idiot. I would bet real money that no one is ever happy when you show up for thanksgiving dinner.

      The truth is that the program is worse now than it was a year ago because of changes you have spend the last few years constantly blabbering about wanting to happen.

      Everything that comes out of you is as valuable as diarrhea. No one posts here as much as you do, and nobody is as universally disliked here as you are. That’s the kind of person you are, David. An idiot that people like less the more they get to know him.

      I’m done replying to you or acknowledging your existence in away. I should have done that months ago when you were spewing your homophobic nonsense all over the site. But now I’ve learned my lesson. You’re just a place where energy goes to dissipate, so I won’t waste anymore on you other than to ask that you please, please, keep making stupid comments on this internet so I keep the vision I have of you as an overweight unkept loser going in my mind

      1. No. You barely had parents, and quite certainly NO football team…so give up the “we”bullshit.

        ND had a fucking asshole of a coach who hiug around long enough to lose more games than anyone before him, and who was checked out and looking for an exit payday after his third fucking season.
        Eat a dick.

        BTW, what does this magical “10 wins” get you, asshole? The Camping World Bowl.
        And we’re all quite familar with the two times he accidentally swam into the deep end of the pool, and faced actual, prepared, serious football teams.

  4. 1) If ND admin didn’t know or clarify what the buyout amount was before an interview…..or within the first 15 minutes of an introductory phone call….they’re utterly incompetent.
    No one except government…handling limitless, valueless taxpayer money….is THIS incompetent.
    So I call bullshit.

    Notwithstanding that…..
    2) In the recent memory, when was the last time **ANY** major college program simply walked away from an assistant (…!?!!) coaching candidate over the lone issue of money…..without even getting to an offer ??

    The long term strategy for ND football must be to keep watering down its schedule to mid-majors, FCS and other roadkill.
    Running a “winning” third-tier football program would be a valid business reason why you wouldn’t need any expensive coaches.

  5. Does it matter to hire the best coaches you can get for the players and fans if you have the money ?
    “2.8 million $ is hiring closing costs in the S. E. C.” Does it matter you show fans and recruits and hopefully donors that winning a championship matters ? Does it matter you don’t humiliate your head coach ? Respecting Freeman doesn’t matter despite his respect for ND. ND is what the handle they’ve earned is:
    “Follow the money!”
    Can’t wait for how Big Daddy Swarbucks and the money changers who oversee him spin this humiliation. Follow the money, and then make more, is all ND sports is all about. Winning doesn’t matter.
    Winning a championship must be more than the coach or players or recruits wanting it. Instead the money changers put up barriers. Like greed dictates: they never have enough money. Case in point: this further proves more money is all that matters to the ND money changers.
    Message sent to coaches at ND.
    Get your resumes updated.
    You and the players you recruit and develop are not valued.
    Winning is irrelevant if it costs more.

    1. As long as people keep buying tickets, and networks keep paying to air games, Swarbrick is happy.

      He didn’t bring Kelly in to win a championship. His actions make that clear. He brought in Kelly to win enough games to get the ratings, attendance, and merchandise levels back up to where they need to be. Kelly delivered. And we asked for more to get to the next level, Swarbrick did not deliver. So Kelly left.

      Now it’s clear that Swarbrick did not hire Freeman to win championships. He hired him to keep the ship afloat so that the goose keeps laying those eggs.

      As long as the Brand says strong. That’s Swarbrick’s whole focus. As long as they win enough to keep selling out games

      I’ve never felt more pessimistic about Notre Dame football

    2. That’s been the problem with ND football the last few years. I like to think I take a balanced view on Swarbick. They have invested some money in modernizing the facilities, the turf, the stadium experience, the training table. Some people complain about that but come on, don’t tell me for one minute if modern turf was available back in the day and if it would mean it could help ND win more games Rockne would not have insisted on it. And they’ve done a good job balancing modernization with tradition.

      But when it comes to coaches, particularly assistant coaches, Swarbick has done a poor job. You can’t lose your assistants to lateral positions. That CAN”T happen. Yes, if it’s a promotion, I can understand that. But laterals? And you need good assistants to win championships. Fans focus a lot on head coaches, and they are important. But they’re only as good as their assistants. ND is not going to win championships this way.

      Keith is right that ND seems content with the way things are. The goal seems to be just as long as we make it to the playoffs or a NY Day 6 Bowl we’re good. I don’t see that changing since the money keeps coming in. It’s a shame because I think Freeman has the potential to be a great HC, if he’s given the tools to succeed. I’d hate for him not to realize his potential because ND wasn’t giving him the right support.

      1. Freeman will just go along with it.In his first game he was reluctant to shake things up when Coan was MIA in the 2nd half against Oklahoma State.Freeman just happy to be here.South Carolina is not a good team

  6. Just heard from a somewhat reliable source that Swarbrick, Freeman, Chuck Weis, and Chucky Weis Jr were spotted together having lunch at the Taco Bell at 315 LaFortune Ave. ND could have a new OC as early as this evening.

  7. Which is worse:

    To reject paying up for a proven or rising star coach, and thus relegated to just hiring ‘nobodies’….while simultaneously remaining so self-delusional about the attractiveness of the job you’re offering as to continue wasting time chasing unaffordable, unrealistic candidates ?

    Or to have gobs of money sloshing around that you can put towards hiring anybody you like….but are so foolish you poach what you believe is a championship-coach-in-waiting, only to slowly discover you’ve simply wasted a ton of money, and time, on a loser who had a very padded resume?

  8. I do wonder if Notre Dame is going to put more emphasis on women’s sports. The women’s basketball team is great and will return to the NC podium with Coach Ivey at the helm. Women’s soccer is among the elite. Women Fencers are winning NCs and Olympic medals.
    Several Catholic schools have feminized their campuses. This is not a
    Judgment just an observation. And an observation that comes into play if you expect your traditional powerhouse in men’s sports to continue or to take a new path. You could make a decision on who to root for if you knew.

    1. It would be nice to know where they plan on taking the football program. I know you said you’d rather watch future doctors play, but that’s not me. I want to see elite college football. I want to cheer for a team that is motivated to do everything in their power to be the best. I’m attracted to that aspect of college football—I’ve always been a fan of powerhouses.

      I love the idea of improving and focusing on women’s sports. It’s great for the community, the campus, and the student athletes.

      But I’m not ok with a middle of the road football team. I’ve been a fan of the Irish since I was 5 years old. And part of the appeal was always the “championship” aura of ND. The excellence. The small Catholic school in Northern Indiana using it’s resources not to just go toe to toe with giant southern football factories, but to be a flagship brand in the Sport. Notre Dame football isn’t about “being able to keep up with the big boys.” It’s about beating the big boys at their own game. That championship mentality is built into the very fabric of the program and it’s history.

      Swarbrick does not have or promote that mentality.

  9. I’m sorry to see Rees go. Yes, there were times this year he made questionable play calling decisions. And the offense was inconsistent at times. And as the OC issues on offense ultimately are his responsibility. But I saw potential there that I would have liked to have seen develop at ND. Let’s be honest, this was probably his first ‘true’ year as an OC who controlled all aspects of the offense. Under the former coach I seriously doubt he held the reins.

    Rees is a tough as nails kind of guy. Even as QB. Was he elite? No, of course not. But he was always there when they needed him to get the job done. If he screwed up he did exactly what you want a QB to do. He learned from his mistakes, picked himself up for the next series, went out and took care of business like it never happened. He didn’t piss and moan about it. Didn’t complain. Just went back to work.

    And he was a ND guy when our former coach tried to poach him. The way he left did not sit well with Rees and he made it known by symbolically giving him the middle finger and staying on with Freeman. So I’m sad to see Rees go but I wish him luck at Alabama (except if/when ND plays Alabama of course). And if nothing else, he provided some stability for Freeman in his first year as HC. It allowed Freeman to settle in knowing the offense would be taken care of.

    1. Rees was vilified every day he was at ND. Then he left, and the immediate reaction was “good riddance! Now we can get a good OC!”

      Well….that “scenario” isn’t ageing well at all, is it ?!
      Panic is starting to sober people up, reassess his loss, and I even see posts of regret about Rees leaving.

      Because fans are biploar, smug, delusional idiots.

      1. I always liked Rees. Yes, he made some questionable decisions and there were some hiccups. But I saw potential in him as OC, as did Alabama, a perennial powerhouse. So I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think Rees may be a great OC. Saban doesn’t make rash decisions. If he thinks Rees is going to be a good OC, I think you can take that to the bank usually.

        And I also think fans calling for his ouster are a bit short sighted. I do believe this was his first year as a “true” OC. After all, does anyone really believe the former coach gave Rees free reign to run the offense? I would have loved to have seen what Rees could have done next year with the offense.

        And I respect the guy for his toughness. He always gave it his all.

      2. The people who liked Rees were eerily quiet, and the pones who hated him were constantly, idiotically loud.
        Blaming Rees for a pass-happy idiot of a head coach…of teams that never had good QBs to work with…..was not Rees’ fault.
        And then getting to 9 wins LAST year was a goddamn offesnive miracle!

        He more than earned the career opportunity(ies) he now has.

  10. Breaking news from ESPN

    Utah OC is staying there.
    Buyout was “too costly” for ND
    Such a poverty stricken school.
    Welcome to ND, Coach Freeman
    This won’t be the last time the administration will embarrass you.
    Won’t be elite until they spend the money to be elite, obviously not a priority at ND.

    1. This is the kind of thing that held ND back under Kelly. He had to fight a constant battle with the administration to get the staff and facilities he needed to compete.

      It shouldn’t be any surprise that Freeman will get even less support. He’s a less experienced coach and Swarbrick will force him into settling for his 4th, 5th, or 6th choices rather than open the wallet

      As long as games keep selling out and the TV money keeps rolling in, old Jack will be happy. Heaven forbid any of that money make its way into a coach or players pocket. Can’t have that! Old Jack has too much integrity for that!

    2. It took a WEEK for ND to figure out that there was about a $2 million buyout to pay ?!?
      I call total bullshit. Spin.

      I’d say Ludwig rightly demanded a big salary to up and leave Utah. Especially to make a lateral move to to a program that, just like Utah, is not going to win a national championship.
      Without a big raise…..why go?

      In college football, ND is just an also-ran. And a cheap one at that.
      Which is why I enjoy watchng the SEC.

      1. I figured you’d love this David. You’re getting exactly what you’ve always advocated for: a Notre Dame program run like it’s 1995.

      2. Most SEC fans can’t spell SEC. The SEC might showcase too talent but who cares. They are heroes on Saturday and will get shot by racist police on Wednesday.
        I’d rather watch division III and guys that might become doctors. Watching a bunch of jailbait that aren’t getting an education but are being used by filthy rich white guys isn’t my idea of a fun experience.
        Enjoy your SEC. I’ll start watching sports with student athletes that I’d like as neighbors.

      3. I figured Keith would still be an idiot.
        Are racist police in the south a bigger scourge than pedophile priests in the north, C-Dog?

      4. I don’t know, David why don’t you tell us what it’s like to be a pedophile. You sound like one. Or do you just get your anger out on little boys.

  11. Offensive Line Coach —- how about Andy Heck? His line protected Mahomes and he has a ring. Pay him the bucks and bring him to South Bend.

    1. LIfe must look very good at KC right now.
      An SEC school might have enough money….but ND has none of the money, the desire, nor those priorities.

      1. Notre Dame wants assistants who eschew cash and are satisfied just knowing that they did their very best for their favorite school!

  12. LSU Coach Buford T. Justice filed (and unfiled) for divorce.
    He sure couldn’t have pulled that at ND…..not without taking a pay cut, anyway.

    That’s not even the fun bit….
    On the very same day, the LSU braintrust approved the “Kelly Fa-muh-lee Room” in the football operations building. Buford’s $1 millon gift (….not THAT million, a different million. SO many briefcases to keep track of!!!) got him a big sign, reminding people every day that his marriage is a sham that will end in failure and acrimony.
    Just like his job.

    But not before gettin’ paid! JaMarcus Russell salutes you, Buford T. Justice.

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