Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees lost his shot at starting the season opener because of a May 3 arrest.
And the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Rees has been relegated to spectator as junior Andrew Hendrix and sophomore Everett Golson take most of the practice reps, with freshman Gunner Kiel getting a few too.
But Rees isn't inactive at practice, he is acting as a second coach.
"His work has been done in the class room," Kelly said of Rees. "His work is done, really working with the quarterbacks. He's got a lot of experience, played a lot of games, so when we call a particular route, he can give insight. It has been very valuable."
Golson, Hendrix and Kiel praised Rees for his willingness to help them even if it means he could lose the starting job for the entire season.
"Tommy has been awesome," Hendrix said. "He has been such a positive influence on all three of the younger guys. Having Tommy back there at all times is really a valuable resource for us to have."
Golson, who is roommates with Rees during camp, said it can be a little awkward to seek advice from a guy who will be competing for the starting job after the opener.
But the sophomore quarterback is impressed with how Rees has handled his situation.
"I praise Tommy for that, because honestly, I don't know if I could do that," Golson said. "Tommy is a great guy. Going through what he had to go through. Tommy is also my roommate during camp. There are many times when we are talking, and he is like, if you need anything, you know I'm here for you. That is the way it is for this whole unit."