ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Dave Brown is confident he has played well enough in training camp to be the New York Giants' starting quarterback once again.

Being secure in that belief is something else for the fifth-year pro who has been the Giants' starter the past two years.

``I don't think anybody can feel that way,'' Brown said Thursday in discussing what is now a budding Giants' quarterback controversy.

``My own thing is not only to be handed the starting job like I was before the year started, but also to go out and earn it. So far in training camp, I think I have done that.''

But Brown can't be certain of that, especially after coach Dan Reeves' announcement Monday that Tommy Maddox would start Saturday's exhibition game against the Baltimore Ravens and that Brown wouldn't play.

Not only that, Brown was relegated to third-team duty this week since Reeves doesn't want him playing with the second team against the Ravens. That opened the door for Stan White and rookie Danny Kanell to play Saturday at Giants Stadium.

Brown said the decision caught him off guard and angered him, although he never showed it openly.

``Maybe in a nice quiet room by myself, maybe I have,'' he said. ``Again, it's something Dan wanted to do. He wanted to see what these guys could do.''

Reeves has defended the decision, saying Maddox needed time to work with the first team in case Brown was hurt this season. He also said Brown will be his opening-day quarterback unless something extraordinary happens.

The media has criticized the move, saying Brown needs all the work he can get, especially since he was playing with a new offensive line.

The New York Post went so far as to run the headline ``Dopey Dan'' in commenting on the move.

``I couldn't believe it,'' Brown said of the media reaction. ``I knew I was in trouble when I walked into breakfast and saw the back page of the paper. Boy, this blew up out of nowhere. Usually this will start about week six, not week two of the preseason.''

Brown has spent most of this week working on his fundamentals. He has taken about 10 live snaps a day at practice, and he also has finally gotten a chance to throw to rookie receiver Amani Toomer.

Brown expects to work with the first team next week, barring the extraordinary performance by Maddox, a former first-round draft pick by Reeves while he coached Denver.

As far as Saturday, Brown plans on relaxing and taking some advice from former Giants quarterback Phil Simms, now a football analyst for NBC.

``Simms told me just go out and wear a nice baseball hat and look good,'' Brown said. ``That's what I intend on doing.''

When asked if he might try to spice things up and wear the hat backwards, Brown balked.

``Too showy for me,'' he said.