The P.M. Report: Day 9

Joe Gibbs finally found someone who played for him. Which is one reason why he wanted to sign guard Ray Brown, even if he will turn 42 before the season is over. In Brown, Gibbs knew what he'd be getting.

The Redskins signed Brown this afternoon after working him out this morning. Brown, entering his 19th season, practiced today, lining up with the second team at right guard during line drills.

''He's the right kind of guy,'' Gibbs said. ''He's a super person. We thought it would be smart to sign him.''

Brown's experience is what they like. He started 16 games last season for Detroit and has started 189 games in his career. He started 53 games for the Redskins when he played here from 1989-95, with most of the starts coming in his final three years here. Brown also played tackle here, but the days of him being able to play on the outside are long gone.

But he at least gives them an insurance policy inside.

Brown was at home in Northern California when he got the call. If nothing else, he said, his mom was excited -- ''She has a great affinity for Joe Gibbs.''

And Brown, allowed to leave after the 1995 season, is glad to be back.

''I grew into a football player here,'' Brown said. ''Hopefully I can recapture that. . . .I'm not as quick as I used to be, but I can contribute as a player and in the locker room as a mentor and on the field as somewhat of a coach. I'll try to share as much as was shared with me.''

. . . The Redskins stashed Brown on IR two different seasons under Gibbs. Maybe they'll try to stash him on the AARP list this time. Thank you, I'm here all week.

. . . At least 14 players did not participate in practice, a way-too-high sum. Aside from Jon Jansen nothing is major, but at some point all those players sitting out impacts the cohesion of a team. It's hard to start out with a good rhythm when guys are going in and out.

Corner Shawn Springs did not practice. Gibbs said it was because of a sore hamstring.

But receiver Taylor Jacobs and guard Randy Thomas did practice, as did end Phillip Daniels.

. . . Tackle Brandon Noble also practiced, with his broken right hand well-protected. It looked like a huge club, with padding over the fist. When I asked him how it felt, he jabbed me in the chest. Good thing it was a soft jab. He'll have to wear it until the bone heals, which could take several more weeks.

If Noble were a pass rusher, wearing a padded cast would bother him more, taking away his hands. But his role is to play the run, which means his goal is to gain leverage by shooting underneath a lineman's pads. He can do that without grabbing.

. . . Big media day at training camp. Sports Illustrated's Don Banks was here, as was a writer from USA Today's Sports Weekly. Reporters from Newsday and the New York Post also attended and a crew from Cold Pizza was here. Still haven't seen more than one minute of that show, for anyone who cares.

. . . Gotta love the fans who haven't got a clue. After left-hander Mark Brunell zipped a pass to Laveranues Coles in the end zone, a bit high, one fan shouted, ''Way to go Hasselbeck! Way to put that in there!''

. . . Rookie Mark Wilson spent more time at left tackle today, with Jim Molinaro backing up Kenyatta Jones on the right side. Both players look like rookies, but our spies tell us that Molinaro is the one coaches think could emerge (if Jones doesn't work out).

. . . Receiver Taylor Jacobs made the highlight catch of the day, beating corner Fred Smoot down the left sideline. Jacobs laid out for a Brunell pass, making a diving catch and earning a big applause. It would be nice to see him stay healthy and see what he could become.

. . . Sean Taylor did it again, intercepting another pass in practice (off Patrick Ramsey). Taylor worked with the second unit again. Why? Don't know considering he's clearly outplayed Andre Lott. But I give the coaches credit for making him work for the job. It's a good lesson for all to see.

. . . Receiver Darnerien McCants dropped another ball over the middle. McCants can be a nice help, but he's dropped too many passes this camp.

. . . One guy who shouldn't be an option at tackle is Daryl Terrell. He looked bad the other night and today first-year end Darrell Wright went right through him in a drill. His footwork is poor.

. . . Receiver Sean Dillard dropped two passes in practice.

. . . Corner Ralph Brown had a good day in coverage, maybe his best day of camp.

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