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Irish Insights

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Rees, Calabrese talk about their suspensions

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese talked to the media Saturday.

It was the first time Rees, a 20-year-old junior, and Calabrese, a 22-year-old linebacker, publicly addressed their May 3 arrests and suspensions for the season opener against Navy on Sept. 1 in Dublin, Ireland.

"The biggest thing is just trying to turn a negative situation into a positive," Rees said. "I went out and spoke to different high schools and kids to relay the message of making good decisions. That's the only thing I could do is try to make it into a positive the best I could and turn it into a learning experience."

Rees has started 16 games at Notre Dame, going 12-4. He threw for 2,871 yards with 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last year.

But for now, Rees is a coach to quarterbacks Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson and Gunner Kiel as he will not get a chance to play until the Irish play host to Purdue on Sept. 8.

"I have to take it one day at time and just be patient and help those guys with whatever they need," Rees said. "My teammates are great. They have been very supportive.

"At the same time, they've rallied behind Everett and Andrew. I think we have a couple of leaders out there on the field who have kept the offense together. My job right now is to help them and still be a presence and leader out there as much as I can."

Coach Brian Kelly said Rees is not currently taking snaps during seven-on-seven and scrimmages as he tries to find a starter for the opener. Kelly said Rees' practice reps will increase in the week leading up to the game against Purdue.

"Not being out there playing the game that I love is hard, but I know I just got to get through this," Rees said. "It is tough not having the timing aspects and being out, but I've gotten extra work after practice with throwing and trying to keep my arm sharp. The mental aspect, I'm getting as much mental work as I've ever had right now, helping those guys and looking at the defense."

Calabrese played in all 13 games last season, sharing time at inside linebacker with Dan Fox. He had 37 tackles last season.

"I accept responsibilities for my actions and every thing that went on and the consequences, I will live by it and move on," Calabrese said. "I can't let this hurt my whole season.

"Right now, it is camp, and I'm working really hard during it. That's all I can do right now, keep grinding, grinding through everything. I'm looking forward to the season starting, and that's pretty much that."

Rees said he was glad he got to talk to reporters about every thing that has happend and is ready to turn his focus to the rest of the season.

"It has been a long process," Rees said. "I'm glad I could get in front of the media and talk. It is kind of like the final chapter from here on out it is just moving forward and focusing on football."

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