Blog : Browns

Cleveland Veterans

Cleveland Veterans



June 26, 2017
Contact: Kristen Parker – 216-301-9462 / [email protected]

MEDIA Note: Calling all Veteran’s to join us for a “Super Bowl Sundae” event hosted by NFL Legend Earnest Byner and his non-profit, “The Healing Dawgs” at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. Earnest Byner will be promoting the VA Resource Fair to advocate for serious issues confronting the Veterans and support the VA’s commitment to provide resources.

NFL’s Earnest Byner along with his foundation “The Healing Dawgs” and the Cleveland VA Medical Center will Host a “Super Bowl Sundae Social” and VA Resource Fair to Promote Veteran Wellness – Mind, Body and Spirit.


CLEVELAND – Veterans and their family members will be treated to a unique opportunity to meet Former NFL Player and Coach, Earnest Byner along with some other teammates for a “Super Bowl Sundae Social” at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center at 10701 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106.

The event will be held Sunday, July 30th from noon until 2 p.m. in the medical center’s Rec Hall and will include Byner sharing his inspirational story of overcoming the famous “Fumble” during the 1987 AFC Championship between the Browns and Broncos. Veterans will engage in a question and answer panel with former NFL Players from the Cleveland Browns. ”The Original Dawgs”. Veterans are invited to participate in a Super Bowl/Cleveland trivia game with prizes, and conclude with an “Ice Cream Sundae Social”.

Byner is humbled to partner with the Cleveland VA Medical Center because he understands the connections between some of the medical issues that former NFL players and former Military personnel have in common and need to heal from such as Concussions/TBI, Suicide and the epidemic of Drug Use. Byner and The Healing Dawgs will continue to partner with the community to advocate for Veterans, children and the homeless to promote healing of the mind, body and spirit, and to teach how to love from the inside. “Together we are working to provide hope for our future,” said Byner.

Veterans are encouraged to bring their discharge paperwork to verify healthcare eligibility. Representatives from Veteran resource groups will be on-hand to provide information and assistance to Veterans in attendance.

For more information about this event or to coordinate a media interview, please contact Kristen Parker at 216-301-9462 or [email protected].

The Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center is the hub of the Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System, providing and coordinating primary, acute and specialty care for Veterans. Focusing on treating the whole Veteran through health promotion and disease prevention, the Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System delivers comprehensive, seamless health care and social services for more than 112,000 Veterans at 18 locations across Northeast Ohio.  The Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System contributes to the future of medicine through education, training and research programs.  For more information visit

Browns Reason To Celebrate

Reason to Celebrate?

Victories are hard to come by in any sport. Anytime a team has crossed the threshold of winning, a different level of confidence is gained. It’s a minor miracle. In the NFL those victories are precious! Especially when you have lost 14 games in one season.
The Cleveland Browns won their first game in over a year. We were “Partying Like It was 1999.” (ok a Princeism) Hue Jackson said “Gameballs for everyone in the organization.” The celebration was on!

I wonder what will be painted on the game ball. “First victory of 2016 Browns” or “Whew! Off the snide 2016.”

I almost wanna say “Really?! We/the Browns are celebrating one win?! Well hell Yes! It was a hell of a long ride baby. You could see the relief come out of First Energy Stadium!

The loyal long suffering Browns fans endured this heartache with dignity. Even Dee and Jim Haslam showed their relief and excitement after the final kick was missed by the Chargers.

Yes, we loved the team and the game they played even after each of the losses while subconsciously trying to figure out, “What the hell is going on out there?!”(Lombardi)

While there is hope that all has been figured out and the staff, players and coaches have chosen the right rudder to right the ship, the reality is that it’s going to take more to get all rowers rowing the ship in the direction of winning.

It takes a hell of a lot to lose 14 straight. It takes a hell of a lot to win one. It’s going to take a hell of a lot more directional development and determination to be a true winner.

One win leads to two then leads to three. Celebrate each victory that is gained… They are precious. Continue to develop and expect winning while understanding the foundation that will manifest the future outcomes.

For The Love Of The Game




One Win Makes Browns Winners? Not So fast

The Browns are 1-14 at this point. They have lost a staggering amount of games over the last 3 years. Buuuuutttt… Now they have earned a win. The hearts are a little lighter, the step has a little more pep and the water coolers have changed from alcohol back to water.

Prior to the victory, it has been almost, for some, down right heart breaking and depressing. Because of their lack of winning, are they characterized as a bunch of losers? Well duhh… No!

Can I reference the losing that occurred when I was in high school and the mentality associated with it? We lost a bunch of games. But, for some reason I never saw myself, my teammates or Baldwin High School as losers. Was it because we lost so much that we didn’t concern ourselves with placing a label on it. Thinking back, I don’t think that was part of it.

Being result oriented wasn’t something that was preached or coached. The daily task was the focus. School, weight room, practice, and games were the focus. Working hard and getting each job done was the focus. The results were just that. Results.

To me, losing doesn’t make you a loser. It’s the approach to losing that shapes who you are. The acts around losing are what make people losers. If you don’t receive instructions, corrections or resist being coached all together – loser! If you talk back to the people that are trying to help you or talk while they are trying to lead a meeting – loser2! If you think you know better than the people in charge – loser3. A bad mentality overall is a losing mentality –loser4

How do you react to being stoned by the local and national press? Going into preparation for the next game. How do you get yourself ready? If you are concerned about losing or what may be said about you, then change your approach to what you do. The characterization will change.

Even if you are losing, still give your absolute best to focus on the desire to be successful. Even if the scoreboard doesn’t show winning, you can still approach what you do and live in a winning way.

Winners learn, grow then teach. Winners for the most part are humble. Winners do their best to do the right thing. Winners always look to grow.

By loving, I mean truly loving, what you do the outcome-oriented perspective can be altered. Don’t get me wrong; the outcome of races, games or business is critical. Just don’t let the characterization get in the way of progress. Whether you win or lose.

One win does not make one a winner overall, but it sure makes the review of the game much more palatable. The overall drive to be a winner or to win should still be the same. It is a madnening process for sure.


For the love of the game.

Browns and Developing Winners

Will To Win

Crying incessantly in my way home after losing another game at Bonnor Park in Milledgeville Georgia. It’s another still but crisp evening and the stars are out while a traverse the grounds in the west end of my home town. Tears are streaming down my face because our team has lost another game. Why was I crying after a football game, you might ask? My answer would have been, “we lost.”

Early in my life, I hated losing! It never deterred me. I loved to play games. I hated losing. Why not just give up… Stop playing the games… Well, I never thought of quitting or to not play marbles, chess, tennis, shooting pool or any other sport. I played and played hard all the time. Sometimes, I would be playing and crying while I was playing because one of the bigger players had hurt me… Never stopped… Never gave in..: it was all part of the action.

Fast forward to Baldwin High school where I played basketball, ran track and played football. Yeah you guess it… We lost bunches and bunches of games. SHIGGADDEE! We lost homecoming most of the time.

Even though we were losing, we never stopped working at development… Those situations taught me how to continue to work to get better, to always do my best and how to never let the score or short term results dictate how I approached each play and each game.

The will can be broken in some because of the losses. It also cave strengthened if the right approach, perspective and awareness is given.

The Browns are 0-14… Wow!!! What an athletic wake up call the entire organization is going through.

Their collective will has to be really strong to endure the experiences.

For those that will continue with the team next year, the Never stopped… Never give in I mentioned earlier will manifest itself at a later time. Especially, if they are going home lamenting the losses.

When you love it… When you love yourself, Winning is not far away. It always finds it way to victories… Whether in real time or at a later point in the pursuit of success.



ROMO: After all, they were depending on you to bring them a championship – that’s what quarterbacks are supposed to do, that’s how we’re judged. But then here you are, sidelined without any real ability to help your teammates win on the field. That’s when you’re forced to come face to face with what’s happening. The realization of a NFL career being over…

RG3…His NFL career and the possibility of it being over has hopefully prompted a renewed or new perspective on playing the game. It did for Romo. RG3 is younger but has missed substantial time due to injury, just as Romo. He has to be concerned about the opportunities perhaps dwindling for him right before his and our eyes.

I wonder did he take some time to do some soul searching and come “face to face with what’s happening” like Tony Romo mentioned. My hope is that that time served to motivate him into being the player his talent warrants.

Does he really want to take the punishment it will take to play at a championship level? Has he had enough… I mean way down deep in his spirit..? Only he really knows.

Good soul searching and mind building can be gone through during the time an injury has been taken away the game from a player like RG3. It can be the motivation to rededicate or give into the inevitable end of a playing career and the beginning of another aspect of life.

Comparison of the thoughts between the two… Romo’s experience was a soul searching one… He developed in some ways, perhaps spiritually and or mentally… During his speech, you could feel his level of thought and perception.

Has this time on injuried reserve served as a realization and appreciation of a career been an awaking for RG3? What has been his emotinal struggle, if any? Has his spirit been touched in a way that really changes him? It will be shown in how he approaches his chosen craft.

The true winner’s mentality was shown in the speech that Romo gave. The winner’s mentality can be shown by RG3. Look for it in his next opportunity as a Browns QB.

ROMO: Lastly, I just want to leave you with something I’ve learned in this process. You know, I feel like we have two battles or two enemies going on: One with the man across from you, the second is with the man inside of you. I think once you control the one inside of you, the one across from you really doesn’t matter. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do.”


The Bond of Winners “Mid 80s Browns”

The Bond of Winners “Mid 80s Browns”

Reflection is an excellent tool. It can teach us how to handle individual situations in life. When we reflect, it gives us a chance to slow down life, look at the different pictures of the day, adjust the situations that need to be and be prepared for the cycle of life that brings around a similar situation in the future.

The Original Dawgs(ODs) weekend celebration started with a get together Friday night at Days Inn in Richfield with about 300 of enduring and loving Browns fans, plus about 15 members of the ODs and ended Sunday with pre-game rituals and half time introductions on the 86 Browns team.

Some of the Original Dawgs were on the field prior to the game. During the pre-game intro, of the current Browns team, I had a chance to slow down the process and observe. I watched as the players came through the line of drum players and the 1986 team.

The 86 team is a team full of guys that showed an understanding of what it takes to win in the NFL and as a Cleveland Browns player. Not just for one year, but over a time that included 5 years in a row of NFL play-offs.

I didn’t see a single player introduce themselves or pay homage to the Original Dawgs. This included any brief conversation with a head coach, Marty Schottenheimer who not only had a tremendous record as the Browns head coach, but went on to develop three other teams. I don’t know if we were spoken about during the week or was it any type of focused effort to make sure the now team member, rub shoulders with the former winners.

The ability to experience life, learn, grow then teach is available to all. It’s a continual process. That particular situation, in my opinion, could have been an time for short snippets to be shared with winners and those that truly ascribe to be winners.

I’m sure the most recent teams in the league, all want to win, but what I did’nt “observe”, maybe indication of real desire to win, a case where individuals want to exercise anonymity or a true lack of respect for those that have come before us. The characterics of a winner have to be trained then demanded.

Ok, some may say that just before the game is not the time to get involved with this type of growth. Perhaps that is true. If that is the case, should not there have been some type of arrangement set up for interaction.

Tapping into different levels of success is a way to learn success and how to be successful.

As I reflect on the Original Dawgs 86 reunion weekend, I can see how important the different levels of learning happened. Marty teaching and grooming us, each player receiving the info given to them and taking ownership of it and the challenges we made within the team because of competition, were ways we became winners.

I encourage all to take advantage of your shoulder rubbing with parents, teachers, coaches and winners that have come before you.

The weekend was a great affair for many reasons. They are the continued connection that we have with the Browns team, the loyal fans of the Browns and the special bond that we have as winners.


#Fortheloveofthegamemack and byner



To Win… It’s why each competition is gone into. The developmental process is an essential element in winning.

Everyday, winning should be on the minds of the competitors. That will certainly effect how meetings are attended, how weights are being lifted and how practice is practiced.

How to attend meetings, how to approach them, how to use mental vision in your preparation are all ways to build and/or change the preparation process of players and coaches.

In practice, I often could be hear saying “Win every play!” Why? Because, if the play is won in practice by each individual, that particular rep has taken on its importance to winning in the game.

You see, if a coordinator has taken the time to script a play in practice, there is a high likelihood that the play will be called in the game. If that play has that much importance given to it by all involved at practice, it may be called in the game. (Practiced to be perfect, while practicing to be perfect)

To me, meetings should be viewed the same. They are as crucial to the teams’ success as practice. If not, the team is looking at a recipe for losing.

The efforts to win each play, each day, will undoubtedly manifest more individual victories on GAMEDAY. Victories on GAMEDAY makes all the efforts to win during the week taste a whole lot better!



Wins and Losses

Today was a day of big wins and loss for some players. Cut day has never been a day I cherished. As a player and coach, I dredged seeing guys have to give up on the current team. On the other hand, life takes and gives. There are a bunch of guys that have the opportunity to continue to chase their dream of being on a team and ultimately winning a championship.

What a delight it is to be a part of a winning team. That’s on all levels of life. The teams we play on, support, cheer for, admire and love have special places in our hearts.

It’s a rare privilege to contribute in any way to a championship. It’s even more rare to be a a starter on a championship team. My stint with the Redskins proved to be some of the most important years of my life, especially spiritually. While being a starter was a blessing, anyone on that team had to feel special.

Today was the first cutdown day for the NFL. It was evident today that the numbers were down. This made me realize how big of a deal this game is annnnddd how special it is to be a part of this game.

It gave me an opportunity to speak with some of the players about how special it is and how big of a deal this opportunity is. I really saw this and recognized it for the first time after I retired. I was looking at a depth chart in the draft room of the Ravens after the final cut date. There were only three names on the board under running backs. WOW! It hit me like a ton! How special it was for my name to be on that board and even more so… I was one on the starters! Real stuff…

When I went out to practice that day and again saw how few players were on the field, I was again thankful for the chance to have played in the NFL.

Enjoy your ride young and old NFL players! It is indeed a well earned blessing to play the game and even more to truly excel.


Culture Shock

“Sad years” characterize teams that have been consistently losing. They have had to make coaching and or front office changes and in some cases have purged their rosters. For some teams that has been their reality… their norm. The ways of doing things, that led to the need of new blood, have to be rooted out. An organizational difibulator has had to be used. “Culture Shock”

It can be recognized right now, at this very moment. When organizations decide to change the mindset that has prevailed, it takes a concerted and focused effort. The battle for this is a hell of a challenge, but a battle worthy of undertaking so lasting change can be in effect. The shock to the mental and nervous system of the players will be a strange one, but the fight needs to be waged with unyielding perseverance.

During the first two pre-season games, the Browns have faced two teams that have had to go through cultural change. It’s Atlanta’s second year while Green Bay has been a mainstay in the post season for some time. Both, as you know, are ahead of the curve and down the road some with the culture change and buy in from the players. With it being Kotter’s second year running the offense, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ahead on the offensive side but have to play catch up on the defensive side.

Yes, the Browns are behind the teams that are being faced when you consider time on task for the staff, player connections and the expectations. Growth, in short order, is the prescription, when we know team building and winning is the consideration. The willness to battle for winning ways has to be built and reinforced, especially from a players perspective.

I was willing to fight for that growth. I didn’t know what it would take, totally, to make the team become a winner. But, I knew we had to become a team that out worked the opponents, challenged each other and competed each and everyday to be the best we could be. Yes!!! I was willing to physically fight when I saw the challenges placed before us not being met. Yes!!! I was nuts… My love for the team and it’s overall well being was my barometer.

I’ll ask… Do you love the team enough to make the necessary sacrifices that will produce team wide success?

There must be continual buy in and enough love to make that move. Yes… It’s a bold move, but a worthy one. Which team, with new leadership, will be able to produce the desired results the quickest will most assuredly have gotten the attention of key players and done the necessary follow up need to foster the desired results.