Dan Reeves made it official yesterday: Dave Brown is the new starting quarterback of the New York Giants.
Reeves, the Giants' coach, made the announcement yesterday in Berlin after a joint practice with the San Diego Chargers that Brown has beaten out Kent Graham for the job.
It became obvious after Graham struggled Saturday night in a 24-15 loss to the Cleveland Browns that Brown was going to get the job.
Reeves said before the team left for Germany that Brown would wrap it up with a good performance in Berlin.
That comment caused a flap when it turned out he hadn't told the quarterbacks first. They learned about it at practice Tuesday from reporters. Reeves quickly apologized. "It was a mistake. They should hear it before somebody reads it in the paper," he said.
Reeves then decided yesterday to end all the suspense. "It gives us a chance to work with our No. 1 quarterback for three weeks the way we would open the season. Kent has played well. I just feel our best chances are with Dave right now," Reeves said.
Brown's toughest job will now be to live up to the legacy of the departed Phil Simms, who became a salary cap victim in June.
"Battling the ghost of Phil Simms," Brown said. "It's always going to be there whether I like it or not. He's been a tremendous help for me in my career thus far, but I think the quicker that New York can put him to rest and allow me to play my style of football, the easier it will be not only for me, but for the team."
Five Redskins likely out
The Washington Redskins will have five starters out tomorrow night for their second exhibition game when they play the Kansas City Chiefs at RFK Stadium.
The five starters who missed Monday night's 13-11 loss to the Buffalo Bills -- defensive lineman Leonard Marshall (forearm), running back Reggie Brooks (hamstring), tight end Ethan Horton (knee), center John Gesek (back) and defensive lineman Tim Johnson (hamstring) -- all figure to miss the Chiefs game.
Marshall, who is still recovering from the broken forearm that sidelined him last year, returned to practice yesterday, but the other four still aren't ready to practice. Horton underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this week and might miss the entire exhibition season.
Brooks' absence, though, might be the most troublesome because he's supposed to play the Emmitt Smith role for the Redskins in coach Norv Turner's offense. Brooks pulled a hamstring in June on one of those made-for-TV running back races and then aggravated it when he tried to come back last week.
The Redskins are going to be patient. "The worst thing we could do is rush him back now and have him miss the first month of the season," Turner said.
Turner also said the team is looking into the Tony Casillas situation, but said it was a long shot that the Redskins could sign him. Casillas, a former Cowboy, became a free agent after returning a $1.2 million signing bonus to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Cowboys have denied all suggestions that they tampered with him.
Patriots get RB Thompson
The New England Patriots, concerned about their running game because Marion Butts and Blair Thomas are injured and Leonard Russell was holding out, traded for Leroy Thompson of the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday. They gave up what coach Bill Parcells called "undisclosed compensation."
Thompson was expendable in Pittsburgh because of the return of Barry Foster, who was injured at mid-season last year. Thompson replaced him and rushed for 763 yards on 205 carries.
Once the Patriots got Thompson, they released Russell even though he rushed for 1,088 yards last year.
Jets guard Ware returns
Guard David Ware, who left the New York Jets training camp two days ago, returned yesterday.
"I had some other problems and I thought football was the cause of it. I found over the course of 48 hours that it wasn't football, it was me," he said.
The Indianapolis Colts have informed three holdouts -- tight end Kerry Cash, defensive back Jason Belser and running back Rodney Culver -- that if they don't sign by tomorrow, they're out of the first regular-season game.
The NFL teams have the option of forcing a player to miss the first regular-season game if he misses the second exhibition game in a holdout.
"We can't force a person to come in," owner Bob Irsay said. "If they want to drive a truck or whatever, that's all right with us."
Elliott wins job
The place-kicking job for the Kansas City Chiefs belongs to Lin Elliott.The Chiefs released David Treadwell yesterday, meaning Elliott will replace the departed Nick Lowery at the all-important spot.
Elliott, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys two games into the 1993 season, was 3-for-3 in the Chiefs' first exhibition game ,, and has looked good in practice.
Treadwell had been waived by the Giants in the off-season.