Blog : Football

Loyalty…where is it


Has free agency affected the length of players career? It has definitely hurt the overall development of the players on and off the field.

Earning your way or veterans taking young guys under their wings has become more difficult because the deck of players are constantly shuffled.

The sense of team or family can’t be a talking cry.

There had to be continuity some where in the organization. A certain way of doing things or a certain type of player being sought or acquired.

The constant shuffle of coaches and players has made it more difficult to have lasting and continued success.

Loyalties are limited because ties have to be cut shorter and shorter based on monies or the lack of microwave success.

The better player developers in form of coaches, are at a premium. John Fox & Harbaugh will be missed at their former places of employment. Marty Schottenheimer and Tony Dungy were difficult to replace.

After Marty and Tony left their respective teams, there was short success because of the culture that was built, but it was short lived.

When you have good coaches in house, find a way to make it work. Replacing them, almost assuredly, will cost.

Microwave success is short term, but may be a necessity in this modern day football. It may show deficiencies more quickly while providing short careers for players and constant turnover within the coaching and front office ranks.

Game Within The Game…Passing Game



In all of the passing play designs, the route depths, pass protection and QB drops(3,5/7 steps) are tied together. It doesn’t take much to throw off the timing. If someone is not on the same page, disaster looms. But, sometimes when they break down, players make plays. That’s what Hoyer and Gabriel did for a TD vs Tampa.

Excellent job by Hoyer and Gabriel on this play. It initially started out as a three step hitch to TG. As you can see in the picture below, he ran about a six yard route and Hoyer is about 5yds deep. Hoyer may have felt the line backer so he didn’t throw the hitch. Both he and the receiver adjusted and the protection held up long enough to make the play. Let’s take a look at the pass protection.


The pass protection starts out being a three step protection. The fullback motions out of the backfield and leaves West (34) almost 7 1/2 yds deep. That’s toooo Deep! for a three step pass. West should be no deeper than 6yds… 7yds max… He should take his alignment first or make the FB move up so he can get to an appropriate depth. He can use the fullback as camaflogue, so the defense can’t pick up his alignment.


I break down the pass protection responsibilities below. The lineman have the 4 down lineman and the weak backer (Will #51) and the back has the middle (Mike #59) and the strong side backer (Sam#54) One to two. The Sam backer is the most dangerous in this situation because he’s on the line of scrimmage (L.O.S.) and is an immediate threat. The runner needs to go get him right away, so he doesn’t meet him right at the QBs heels. #34 didn’t seem like he expected the Sam to come. He should be cocked and ready to explode to the blitzer.


Any delay by the runner will give the rushing defender an advantage. You can see below, David is almost to the QB. West has a right to cut on a three step and in case of emergency, but this is real iffy here. West false stepped coming out of his stance and gave #54 a head start. Cutting this close to the QB is dangerous to the QB and the play. West should be cutting the defender now as opposed to where he ends up. On this occasion he gets away with it. I heard the commentator say great job and good block, but in actuality, he was lucky this wasn’t disasterous.

Players making plays is a great thing. Love to see it when it comes together. I hope this gives you more insight into the “game within the game.” Hoyer felt the pressure, rolled to his left and found the open receiver. Win!

Coach EB

Shelton and Browns Mentality

Shelton and Browns Mentality



The talk leading up to the Cincy game was Johnny football. The talk has been since is…of course all about Johnny football. It was all about his first start and his lack of efficiency. No fairy or I should say, “Johnny dust,” to sprinkle and make it all good.

My thoughts at this point go back to the defense. I’m looking at two plays that gave the tone of the day for the Browns.

The Bengals get the ball first. Opposite of what I had envisioned as the beginning. Anyway, they get the ball and STEAM roll their way down the field. The first four run plays go 3,7,8 and six yards. A dominant way to start.

The picture below shows the blocking scheme that the Browns’ D had to face. It’s a play we use to call 36 BOB. B.O.B. means back on backer or from a defensive perspective Backer on Back. The fullback and the linebacker have to go man to man in the hole.


This is where “Big Shelton” can be of assistance from the nose or the three technique. These type of holes should be fewer.

In the picture below you can see the play has started and the action is on. The blocking scheme is taking full flight and Bam!! the full back is underneath the linebackers chin. No go on the technique by #53 Craig Robertson. He should be delivering a blow to the fullback. Same foot-Same shoulder, then separate to make the tackle. Look where his hands are. If you can see, it’s like he is hugging #89’s head. At this point in the season and with the season on the line, more discipline and a better mentality is needed by CR. Trust me 89 was tough the rest of this drive too.


This is a tone setter for what’s to come. An ass waxing is in order!

Shifting to pass Defense…

In the next picture, which was later in the first drive, Bernardo is about to release out of the backfield to run a wheel route. The two receivers will run shallow routes to shield/pick the defenders. Circled in black are four of the Browns defenders. Who should have the flat area? Well they don’t cover it.


The ball has been snapped and the shallow routes have begun and #25 is releasing on his wheel route. “Scott Free.” Circled in red are four Browns defenders. I ask again, WHO HAS THE FLAT??? Everyone is fixated on the receivers. Look at their heads. No one is looking at the runner. Pass complete for a big gain and a BS horse collar call on top of it all.


So the the topic can be on Mister football but the defense has a bunch to get right. Johnny has motivation to get his butt in gear as does the defense. They took a real physical butt whooping.

The draft gives new blood and brings with it excitiment from the young and motivation to the vets. This which should challenge and make all better.

Let’s go Dawgs

Game Within the Game

Game Within the Game

Even within a game there is a lost and there are some victories that happen. For the Redskins vs the Colts, the very first defensive play produced a win for the defense and a lost for the Colts offense.
In the first picture below it can be seen that Kerrigan has gotten off on the snap and is ready to attack Cherilus. Kerrigan has his hands up in a position to slap Cherilus’ down. Cherilus is already in trouble. Good basic pass protection starts with your hands up in a position ready to punch the defender.


In the next picture I have circled the shoulders of both players. Kerrigan has slapped the right arm of the tackle and gotten his left shoulder past the right shoulder of Cherilus. Another sign of trouble. The next step for #91 is to work his swim move to get past.

Ok…we can really see the trouble that Cherilus is in. Look at his feet. His feet are almost touching each other. You can see that the other pass protectors have their legs about shoulder width apart. Big trouble for the QB. WATCH OUT ANDREW! Kerrigan is ready to accelerate to his sack.

Got ya! You can see that Kerrigan has left the tackle behind. Cherilus has tried to cut the rusher in shear desperation. A last ditch effort to slow down the pass rush. Futile!…especially with the type of technique displayed.

The sack/fumble is made and the ball is out. It’s circled in yellow or Gold and ready to be pounced on.


The Game within the Game “win” for the Redskins has gotten the team exactly what it needed to start the game, especially in a hostile environment. The next step is to get the offense to punch this thing in.

Coach EB

The Way

The Way


By Coach Byner

Long lasting and consistent production is a rarity in life. It’s even more rare in the NFL. Few organizations have found the magic or right spirit that produces consistently year after year.

Egos of tremendous size seems to find its way into the equation. When success happens it’s rare for people to go back to what they know has gotten them to the promise land.

Baltimore for instance, has found an answer to the riddle. Over the last 10-12 years they have consistently been in the mix at the end of the year. My feel is that the foundation was set by Mr. Modell before and during the transition of the team to Steve Bisciotti. Steve was humble enough to seek understanding from someone that he knew  knew more than him. There is a consistency in employees that goes from GM to janitor. That consistency in belief and action starts at the top.

You don’t see a lot of knee jerk reactions when things get a little or a lot out of whack. It’s a steady slow moving entity that doesn’t waver. They are similar to the Steelers.

The Steelers are another team that seems to stay the course. They build through the draft and operate with the thought of tolerate until you can replace with players that get to big for the team.

The Rooneys seem to be very humble people. The mentality of fairness presides with the chief operator of the organization. I would dare to say that within there organization a sense of loyalty resides. There coaching staff have some of the longest tenured assistant coaches, that have been with them, in the league. They also have two former Steeler players as coaches.

The third team that has been a consistent contender for the Lombardi Trophy is the Patriots. They, like the Steelers, replenish through the draft. They have a great coach and we all know the type of buy in leadership that Tom Brady has exemplified.

Year in and year out they produce. They replace the players that grow out of the system but also do a great job of developing the talent they have accrued. You don’t see a lot of knee jerking with them either. Steady is the word. They find ways to rise to the occasion and are extremely disappointed when the success they prepare for is not attained.

To me it takes an evolved approach to have this type of consistency and commitment to winning. This approach can be studied but seldom replicated unless the willingness to humble the ego is priced and paid for with actions.

Rooney, Bisciotti and Kraft have done a magnificent job with their people and businesses. The production and consistency speaks volumes.

Understanding and appreciating the basic needs and desires of the human being is the catalysis. For the love of the game and mankind.

Coach EB

Body, Mind,Spirit

Body, Mind,Spirit


Continual Rehabilitation Poem

A body will return to its natural state of rest Naturally, it’s not wanting to stand for a test. It’s not always agreeing to do it’s best. Push it, coddle it or give it a caress.

When I pulled my hamstring during the Brown’s summer camp in 1994, I found myself looking at some of the healthy players and wondering why they were healthy and I’m not.

I had to be in the training room healing, instead of on the field competing for the starting job. Rehab was tedious. It was a weakening then a strengthening and healing process.

Working my way back from my first hamstring injury was totally different than, lets say, an ankle sprang. I thought I could work through it just like I had done with my other injuries. It was different!

Pinched nerves from my neck…no problem, ligament damage in my knee…come onnnn, dislocated fingers…piece of cake. That left hamstring!!! I tried to work through that and bam! I’m down another two weeks. It still hurts me to this day.

It still needs rehab. If I don’t workout, stretch or give it ice and the hot tub, it lets me know. Shiggadee…it hurts without that. Imagine how it would be if I didn’t rehab. The process is continual.

As we continue in the aging process, the natural inclination of the body is to lose muscle and tone. Atrophy happens quickly to a body that is at rest consistently.According to my studies, exercise in general is recommended for us all. For me, it’s most important for those that have played sports and suffered injuries. Yes! It’s going to hurt, but the alternative may be even worse.

Getting overweight, losing all your flexibility and dealing with the issues that come with those, is your alternative. Quality of life is at stake.

I’ve always been a little vain. I like to fit into some of my old clothes and like how I look in them. Is Coogi out of style? Hmmmm

Whatever the motivation, get yourself some rehab for your body, mind and soul. Self efficacy, health, vanity or rehabbing an old injury, may be your motivation. What ever it is, get it done.

NFL Play 60 does a good job encouraging our youth. Getting kids started in sports or exercise in general is key. Starting a lifestyle of exercise early is important. On the other hand, it’s never to late to get started.

Check with your Doctors first!

Take care of you so… “You” can take care of others.

Spirit, Mind, Body



Giving It Up!

Giving It Up!

Giving It Up!

By Coach Byner

March 10, 2015

Mojo (Maurice Jones-Drew) just decided to retire. He is moving on to his next life.

He was one of my best players and an excellent student in the classroom while being a student of the game.

He loved to run the two back power play. He would get in the back hip of his pulling guard and wish the backside backer would overrun the play. If he did, he got that back door cut. He was a master of disguise.

Congrats on a fantastic career and thanks for allowing me to earn my way in. You were a treat to work with and watch!

This brings a conundrum to mind.

When is it time to hang the cleats up? To me it’s never the right time. The body says it is, while the mind says I can still be the player I was. For those that hang on to what you love…best of luck!

For those that choose to hang it up and move on to what you have been prepared for, congrats on your playing career and best of luck in your next endeavor.

The player, in reality, knows first and foremost. It’s been told to him by the inner man that has helped him be the player he has always been. That inner man that has been there to protect him, guide him when he has had difficult situations come up in his life and because of some action on the field.

The inner man has spoken, but the natural man says I can still do it. Mr Natural will convince the player that he can go one more year. But deep down inside, he knows.

You see, it’s real easy to think that you can continue, especially, when practice is held the way it is now. Guys are not hitting nearly as much as it was once necessary to play in the league.

The game is so much easier to stay in past your production at this point. No pads give a false sense of security. Running around in the skivvies is easy.

That’s why when people talk about how good a guy has done at the combine or how he has done in a private workout, they better confirm the workout by watching the player while live bullets are flying. GAME TAPE and practice video when guys are really hitting is your best judge.

When is it time? What are your indicators? If you are a QB and you start to duck or go down because you saw a phantom rusher. Start to think about your exit.

If you are a player and you start to watch games on TV and you start to wonder, how do those guys not get injured doing that? Hmmmmm… It may be time to find another career.

This may be the biggest one. When you get where the hit hurts you, instead of the you hurting with the hit. It’s time!

Part of my memory takes me back to the end of my career. It was the start of less pads being worn in practice. WHEW! I could run around with the best of them when we were in shorts. It felt good. I was still quick, but not fast. (never had dem jets) But, when the pads were on, almost everything hurt.

The inner man had spoken to me during the early part of the season. 1997 season was going to be my last. Buuuut! When the off-season came around in 1998, I still had the natural man telling me to go one more year. Play in the new stadium EB. You can do it.

Deep down I knew. Deep down, these guys that are near the end of their career, they know.

One quick story on MOJO. It was late in 2011 season. We (Jaguars) we’re hosting the Browns. Kotter called a slow screen to the right side. Mo ran it with precision and ended up breaking back across the field for about 70 yards. He got tackled at the one. It set us up to win the game, but he had to come out. We mobbed him! He had what I thought was a smile on his face. He mumbled something. I asked what? He finally got out “I’m going to throw up.” I lost it!

That picture is on the website.

Review, Rehearse, Remember

Review, Rehearse, Remember


Coach Earnest Byner

March 4, 2015



How does a player make the plays under the pressure of the game? When the chips get down and the opposing team is attacking, there has to be a plan that precedes action.

Most of the plays, situations and adjustments have been covered either in meetings or on the practice field. The other place they get covered is in the privacy of a player’s mind.

The lessons of each situation are covered by the coaches. As Teachers of the game plan, they use valuable meeting time to go over most of the details. It’s never enough time to get it all. There has to be a dependency on the player, but rest assured the player is given his basics and possible adjustments…FOR THE MOST PART.

Here is where the team goes to another level. When they get enough guys to have ownership and buy-in, they have the ability to raise the preparedness and the level of play.


Shortly after receiving the information, game plan and assignments, the player should go back over notes and key points. Even the part that is known…skim it. What has not struck the mind in a way that is readily remembered, find something that causes you to pull it out of your mind when needed. So basically, go back over what you have been given.


Now, this is an important part of the process as well. While reviewing also rehearse what you should be doing. Rehearse the initial responsibility, then, rehearse what your adjustments should be if…. If this, then I do that…if that, then I do this. Go through all your adjustments. REHEARSE…


When it’s reviewed and rehearsed… It will be remembered. The assignments will become like breathing. It will become innate. When this is done, it cuts down on the mistakes that are made. When the test is administered, the student is prepared.

Mistakes will still be made, but the score for the test/Game will be higher. Retention will be better as will the ability to have the information available at the right time.

Review, Rehearse, Remember

Off-Season Game Plan

Off-Season Game Plan

By Coach Earnest Byner

March 2, 2015

Free agency is about to start. Franchise tags have been passed out and the combine has taken place.

There are moves that can be made that can build or make winning difficult.

Teams that have a history of successes during this time of year, should be emulated, studied or plagiarized. They have a system that they stay true to, even they at times will break out of the status quo that they have established.

When teams go outside of their established norm, it typically bites them in the ass.

Three teams, going on four, have a system of building through the draft, establishing a market value for their team and being very picky in their choices of free agent acquisitions.

At this time of the year, the general manager is the head coach. He makes the overall decisions when it’s two minute situations, the use o f timeouts and when to throw the challenge flags in the off-season.

The director of college scouting can be called the offensive coordinator, he organizes the college scouts, calls the plays on the college players and reports his thoughts on the decisions for the draft.

The director of pro personnel is up. His side of the ball is ready for action.  It’s time for his reports and strategies to be in effect.

If the team has been prepared properly, then the head coach (GM) should be able to manage the game successfully. Rest assured he has gone through some hiccups. It’s quite possible that a team like Dallas could lose a player like DeMarco. The what ifs are being asked throughout the building.

Feeling your way through these processes typically will get teams in trouble. The teams that plan their work and stick to what they have established as their modus operandi will typically win the off-season game which, if the coaches are worth their salt, wins in the post season.