Former offensive lineman Ray Brown has re-joined the Redskins organization and his primary role will be to help the team's younger players adjust to the NFL.
Brown, a 20-year veteran who played nine years with the Redskins, does not have a title or specific responsibilities. Brown was brought in primarily to be a positive influence, according to head coach Joe Gibbs.
"What we are doing is bringing someone in the organization that started out as a Redskin, played 20 years, has been through thick and thin--and right now we are having a tough time," Gibbs said on Wednesday. "I talked to him about being around the players, being back, and just being someone that young players can go to and talk to. Many times they are wide-eyed and still trying to figure out what the NFL is all about.
"What Ray can do there, not from a coaching standpoint, is talk to young guys about how to become successful here. It is one thing for me to say something to them. They are not going to pay a lot of attention to me. They are going to pay a lot of attention to Ray Brown because he played 20 years."
Brown told Washington, D.C., reporters earlier this week that he expects to be a resource for the team. In the past, Brown has indicated an interest in coaching in the NFL. This new role with the Redskins could be a good transition for him.
"It's really unique to get a chance to come in at this point of the season," Brown told reporters. "I think I have something to offer. I think I know football, and now it comes to finding out how I can get it through to the guys so it will help them."
Gibbs indicated that Brown will be relied on to help the team through tough times. In 2005, when the Redskins were struggling at 5-6, Gibbs relied on Brown as a locker room leader.
Brown helped set a tone that led to a five-game winning streak and a postseason berth.
"He knows how to help you get out of [tough situations]," Gibbs said. "He has played his way out of them and been a part of a team that has played its way out of them. He was here last year when we had tough times and he was a big part of the leadership role."
Brown has been present on the Redskins' practice field this week and he has spent time along-side assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel working with offensive linemen.
"Ray adds a lot with his presence on the field and in the locker room," Bugel said. "He attends all of the meeting and he understands our [coaching] language. It gives young players a chance to see what a 20-year veteran looks like. I'm glad he's doing this."