LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees knew signing with the Washington Redskins could be a possibility all along. The two sides had been in contact throughout the draft process.
Sure enough, shortly after the NFL Draft concluded on Saturday, Rees tweeted that he would be heading to Ashburn to join Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins, his former collegiate foe from Michigan State.
A number of teams had expressed interest in signing the Irish product as college free agent.
After weighing the options with his agent, Rees decided that Washington was the best fit even though it meant facing an uphill battle for playing time on a roster with little room for change at the position he played.
It was the opportunity to play for Jay Gruden and an offensive-minded coaching staff won him over.
“The coaching staff that’s coming in is one that I’m excited about learning under and getting to know,” Rees said. “I knew coach Gruden and his background and the kind of offense that he runs and being a quarterback guy. Obviously, his pedigree is one that speaks for itself. Throughout the process, getting to know him and a couple of other guys on the offensive staff has been enjoyable.”
Rees will be competing with Colt McCoy for a potential third spot on the roster behind franchise quarterback Griffin and Cousins, who appears likely to spend a third season as the primary backup in Washington.
Such competition will be nothing new for the soon to be 22-year-old who says he has no regrets about his college career.
After starting 12 games at Notre Dame as a sophomore, Rees was relegated to backup duty in 2012 following the emergence of Everett Golson. He reclaimed the starting role as a senior after academic infractions led to Golson’s suspension for the entirety of year.
He completed 197 of 367 passing attempts for 2,938 yards and 27 touchdowns with 13 interceptions as a senior. Rees’ 59.9 career passing completion percentage is an all-time best among Notre Dame quarterbacks.
“When I get my opportunities to get in there and compete, I’ll make the most of those,” Rees said. “I’m not going to get into the depth and all that and where I’m going to fit. I’m just going to try to get there and compete and go in there with the right attitude and work every day.”
The drama between Griffin and Mike Shanahan that unfolded on a national stage at the end of last season did not go unnoticed by Rees. But, the incoming rookie doesn’t have much of an opinion on the matter.
“I think there are certain things that go on with a team that you can really only know and understand if you’re there,” he said. “I’ve never been a part of playing for one coach and having another coach come in. That’s never been an experience of mine. I’m sure i’m going to get there and I’m going to really enjoy my time.”
Rees’ NFL experience begins Friday when Redskins rookies report for a three-day minicamp.
In an interesting note, Rees revealed that his brother was roommates with current Redskins kicker Kai Forbath at UCLA.
Displaying a flash of rookie wisdom, he declined to share any incriminating stories about his new teammate.