Notre Dame starting quarterback Tommy Rees was suspended for the season opener by the Fighting Irish, but it won't necessarily cost Notre Dame a chance at a win against Navy in Ireland. The Irish have a gaggle of quarterbacks who could step in September 1st, but regardless of who it is, Rees will be there to help the team anyway he can.
Since his suspension was announced on August 1st, Rees has been working with the other quarterbacks to get them ready for the season. Rees recognizes that the two young quarterbacks need him and that "helping those two guys get ready for the first week is what [his] responsibility is" (via the Chicago Tribune).
Right now, it appears Everett Golson is in the lead to take over for Rees in the team's opener.
Golson has the potential to be a wild card for the Fighting Irish. He is incredibly athletic and already had a solid performance in the spring game.
As an undersized quarterback (Golson only checks in at 6'0") he must find creative ways to be successful. Golson is using everything he can to his advantage. He has even been studying film of other small quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson to see how they find passing lanes.
He is not the only reason the Irish have a legitimate shot at the "W" in week one. Notre Dame still has All-American linebacker Manti Te'o patrolling the middle of the field. After deciding against going pro and returning to Notre Dame for his senior season, you can bet Te'o is going to be at his best.
Te'o has said he is in the best shape of his life and is moving quicker on the field. This new speed figures to only aid a man who has amassed over 320 tackles during his time at Notre Dame. Against Navy in the opener, expect to see Te'o flying around the field making plays that the Fighting Irish will certainly need.
There are still weapons for Notre Dame's offense to work with, especially for whoever does come out on top in the quarterback competition. Tyler Eifert, a senior tight-end, figures to improve upon his junior year numbers that saw him have over 800 yards to go with five TDs.
There is also highly-touted sophomore DaVaris Daniels, son of former NFL player Phillip Daniels. He came to Notre Dame as a freshman last season, but this year figures to be the year he breaks out. Daniels possesses great speed, size and hands. With Michael Floyd now gone, Daniels will have to pick up the slack.
TJ Jones, another Irish wide receiver, figures to be in the mix as well.
Notre Dame has weapons on the offensive side of the ball still and Golson could be a wild card at the QB position. Te'o will be the man for an Irish defense that could turn a few heads this season.
On the whole, the loss of Rees for the opener shouldn't be too big of a blow for the Fighting Irish. If the offense can perform, limit turnovers and make sure the defense gets some rest, the Fighting Irish should be returning to the States with a 1-0 record.
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