Washington Redskins players welcomed right tackle Jammal Brown back into the fold Monday, the day after the seventh-year pro agreed to a five-year, $27.5 million deal.
NFL rules prohibit Brown from practicing until the completion of the new collective bargaining agreement – Aug. 4 is expected to be the date that free agents can practice with their teams.
But the 6-foot-6, 313-pound Brown watched practice along with new addition Chris Chester, who will line up next to him at right guard. They discussed plays, with Brown often explaining blocking assignments to the former Baltimore Raven.
The Redskins say Brown’s leadership and skill will help immensely this season.
“That was huge,” left guard Kory Lichtensteiger said of Brown’s return. “I think everybody on the O-line, everybody on the whole team, was excited about that. He’s a big part of our offensive line with experience especially. Somebody with that much experience, has played in a Pro Bowl. He’s just kind of a glue to our O-line, especially after losing [center] Casey [Rabach, who was released Thursday]. We need somebody that can go in there. He’s a great player, so we’re happy to have him back.”
Left tackle Trent Williams, who like Brown, played his college ball at Oklahoma, agreed with Lichtensteiger that Brown brings invaluable leadership to the line.
“Me and Jammal have been good friends since Oklahoma,” Williams said. “We never played together, but he always came back and mentored me. I have kept in touch with him since the day that we left Redskins Park [in January]. I knew he was coming back.”
Brown said Sunday the chemistry he has developed with his fellow linemen, and his confidence in coach Mike Shanhan, were the reasons he re-signed with Washington.
Last season, Brown was coming off of a 2009 surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. He spent the first half of the season working his way back into football shape and struggled at times. But down the stretch Brown was much more effective and he hopes to pick up where he left off.
Shanahan believes that certainly is possible.
“To have him back healthy and another year in our system, it feels very, very good,” the coach said. “I think it’s a huge benefit for us and for him to be healthy and have a year in the system. I thought he played his best football near the end of the season when he was recovering, and also from the familiarity with our system. He’s going to be a lot more comfortable.”