Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Tommy Rees Focused on Building Trust with Notre Dame Offense

March 28, 2020

College football is essentially shut down, but the Fighting Irish are getting creative with its message to recruits and fanbase. 

Notre Dame special teams coach and recruiting coordinator Brian Polian caught up with new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees in the first edition of the Notre Dame minute. 

Notre Dame had another successful season last year finishing 11-2, but trust between the offense and offensive coordinator was something that was missing. 

Rees knew this and it's the first area of the offense he's focused on improving. 

"The first thing we want to build offensively is a great deal of trust between the coaches and players," stated Rees. "I think getting everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction is important." 

With trust being priority No. 1, Rees has also focused on building a consistent message between the players and offensive staff.

The Irish are having more meetings with the entire offense instead of the typical positional meetings. 

Will it pay off? We'll see, but Notre Dame fans have to be encouraged to see small adjustments from the first-time offensive coordinator. 

"One thing we've done a lot of is group meetings, getting the whole offense together and group installs, so everyone is hearing it from one consistent voice," explained Rees. "It's not always mine, but each of our position coaches has the opportunity to get in front of the team to make sure the offense is moving in the same direction."

Rees also wants to build his offense around what his players can do versus forcing them to play his system. 

"One thing we've talked a lot about is we want to make sure we're putting our players in position to be successful," Rees said. "We're never going to ask them to do things they're not already able to do. 

"When we talk about our offensive identity, we're really talking about building it around what our players do well. As coaches, it's our job to develop those areas that need to be improved. If we need to make somebody a more complete player, we're going to develop that. In the meantime, we're going to find the things he does well and put him in position to do both.

"We're not going to ask guys to do things they'ree not capable of, but we're going to develop those areas to build more complete football players." 

Rees' quarterback days are over at Notre Dame, but he knows all eyes will be on him this fall. 

"It's funny for this thing to go well, it would be exceptional to do this at your alma mater and to be able to give back to the place that's given me so much," said Rees. "It's as rewarding as it can get. 

"It's also a high risk because if things don't go well, then you're probably not welcomed back on campus. You have to make sure you're putting your best foot forward with time. There's really nowhere else I would want to take on this challenge or job. It's something I put a great amount of pride in and something I'm going to work really hard towards. 

"Giving back to this place means a lot to me and I want to make sure it's somewhere I can always come back to." 

Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.