Blog : Motivation

Breathe and Feel

Each breath brings with it thoughts and direction. Each one of the thoughts are mini prayers. When directed they become our path. Continually impressing the mind while in prayer helps to direct the inner spirit. If we practice control of the breath and the mini thoughts, we can assist the manifestations in our life.

By feeling what we truly desire…by adding the positive emotions that have been gifted to us, we can drive our lives into what we feel and believe.

The inner man does not know or let’s say doesn’t differentiate between when you say “I do want” or “I don’t want.” Be as clear as possible regarding your true desires. Love yourself enough to place your breath and feeling in proper order.

NFL Training Camp- Then & Now


It’s the night before the final cuts of the 1984 NFL training camp. (REAL TRAINING CAMP) Cleveland Browns TC started the weekend after July 4th and lasted for almost 2 months. It was like being stuck in the twilight zone!

I’ve been balling from the beginning, so I haven’t had an uneasy feeling about being cut. But tonight is a little different. I slept well after I finally fell asleep while half expecting a knock on the door. My roommate has been gone for a week, so I’m alone.

I wake up to sunshine and no knock. I pop up and run to the door to take a peak out. QUIET. It was almost spooky. I call home to tell Granny and then call my wife. I made it!

After the call, I sat for a while to let it all sink in.

We have a team meeting at 9:00 am. I take what has become my normal seat. Mike Pruitt, Boyce Green, Charles White and Johhny Davis are the other backs. Marty is talking, but I’m in amazement now because I’m on the team with guys I’ve watched on tv.

The room is really half empty, so Marty Schottenheimer’s voice almost echoes. But once we get on the field… Wait! Where are the lines of guys waiting to get reps? This is it?! What a realization of how special it is to be on the roster and in the NFL.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up on the game and the games played that you forget the specialness of being in the league.

Seeing those empty seats and short lines provided an “Oh Snap” moment for me. Love what you do and appreciate the constant challenge that can make you a better person and player.

Well that was way back when…training camp was actually about training and competing. It was where more uncertainty loomed regarding final roster spots. It felt like guys had a real shot at competing for a spot on the roster and veteran players could battle for the job another player was drafted for.

No more real training…well it’s still training but not at the levels of before. We were battle tested before we got to another team.

The evolution of the game has taken away the grueling aspect of camp. Salary caps have made it where there is more concern regarding safety and getting guys to the season as opposed to truly developing the roster from top to bottom.

Yes development still happens while keeping an eye on how much exposure the top tier players get. In some situations, I noted the player was being coached down as opposed to coaching him up or truly developing him and making him better.

Yep… Training camp is long gone never to return. There may still be some sleepless nights, but none like 1984. What a blessing for the chance a lil ole’ 10th rounder out of East Carolina from Milledgeville got just being in a true training camp.

NFL Motivation

NFL Motivation




Picture this: It’s a really nice crisp morning here in Jacksonville and I am riding my bike alone on Baldwin Trail west of Jacksonville. I, all of sudden, have this feeling that someone is coming up on me to my left. Now for a bike rider, that is someone faster than you about to pass. Now the problem with this is, I don’t like that. I feel like I can ride with, well some of the best, but I know the reality is that I am probably in the lower middle caste of bike riders. But anyways, the thought comes to me that if I don’t want anyone passing me, then I should ride like it. I should work on my speed intervals, my one leg strokes and my full stroke technique with passing other bikers in mind.

To become one of the best at riding, I have to go get it. Reacting to someone riding up on and passing me is not the time. I have to do my bike riding due diligence.

This is nothing novel, new or ground breaking but, sometimes stating the obvious is the right thing to do.

We have the draft every year and new blood, rookies or newborns are brought into the league to hopefully improve the team. Each year players on all levels face a possible challenge for their position on the team. The recognition is not there at times, but it is a consistent. This is the cycle of NFL life and the thing that will keep the right type of players motivated. You see, no one can or should be overly secure about where they are on the team, but they are secure with who they are.

If you are driven and want to be the best, then you will prepare with that in mind. You don’t wait until someone is drafted to perhaps take your spot. You work with being the absolute best in mind at all times. It will affect how you work in the off-season, how you practice, how you meet, how you get your rest and how you relax. It’s a lifestyle that drives you even when you are not really thinking about it. It becomes innate.

To be the best and being driven to play perfect is sometimes a curse. It is filled with uncertainties and fears. It can also ward off those potential replacements that are a constant in this profession.

You should always push yourself no matter whether someone is drafted in your area or if they don’t bring in a soul. When they draft someone to challenge where you are, it doesn’t change who you are. Well, unless it makes you or takes you to a new and higher level.

Oh yeah, on the bike trail, just so you know, it wasn’t anyone there. It was just my ethereal body pushing me. I did pick it up, worked on my one leg stroke and focused on my technique. I didn’t get passed today, but Eddie is out there looming. I am getting ready Eddie. That’s another story for another time.




Power of Adaptation


1987 play-off game…Colts vs Browns in Municipal Stadium. It was one of Cleveland’s familiar wind off of Lake Erie cold days. It had been so cold, the field was frozen. For the most part, the green that was on the field was painted.

So, what does a running back wear on this type of field? There is no penetrating it with traditional cleats. Tennis shoes may work, but I may slide where grass is actually present.

Luckily, I have been playing hard firm and fast tracks in a pair of Pony shoes. They were a mixture of astro shoes and mini cleats. I decided to go with them.

That adaptation enabled me to play one of the finest play-off games, from a running backs perspective, in Cleveland Brown’s post season history.

The power of adaptation is a remarkable tool! As humans, we have a choice how we view each day. Each experience is a chance to exercise our decision making ability.

Granny use to say ” if they give you chicken sh_t make chicken salad.” Luckily I haven’t actually had to eat that type of chicken salad, but I have used that metaphor in all aspects of my life.

Adapting to the circumstances and situations we are provided in life, is a constant choice!

When you are in a position where you have no choice in making the situation like you want it, make the situation work out anyway. The ability is within you to make the necessary adjustments.

It’s a decision!

If you feel you don’t have the wherewithal, it’s no shame in seeking advice. My advice from Granny provided a lifetime of knowledge. That knowledge ultimately turned into wisdom.


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.

Winning Dimension

Winning Dimension



While watching the Seawhaws vs 49ers game on game rewind, a couple things stuck out. One that is well known is that Lynch leaves a lot of people in his wake when he muscles his way down the field.
The below picture is the beginning of some carnage left on this jaunt by down the right sideline for 33 yards. He has used his strength to kick out of the tackle and his balance to continue to attack the 49ers secondary. In the picture, note that Kearse is positioning himself to be Lynch’s next lead blocker.

Kearse has gotten his block and Marshawn is down the sideline. A common practice of runners that get the ball to the below spot is to run out of bounds. Most of the time Lynch shows no fear. He stays in bounds and maximizes the run to the last degree. I admire how he confronts every opportunity like it may be his last. One other aspect of this team is they fight for each other.


The below picture shows again how the Seahawks’ players go above and beyond for each other. They are not doing anything that shouldn’t be done, but it’s rare to really see it in action.

Russell has done one of his masterful spend moves to avoid a sack and scrambled around well enough to throw a dime to Moeaki. He gets a screen from the receiver in the yellow circle so he can continue down the sideline. Turbin is in full stride. Hustle Mode. Russell is in hot pursuit as well.



Moeaki has made his way down the sideline but wait…there is Turbin getting a block on #20. He has out hustled him to get to this spot. The other amazing part of the picture is in the bottom right. Russell is continuing to follow just in case. This type of action is not common. Most players do their job then either jog slightly towards the action or not pursue at all. These guys are in full stride and giving maximum effort for each other.


That type of play is, to me, two parts. They have bought into what their coaches have been preaching and they have a real care for each other.

Love it and enjoy as the Hawks continue to develop.

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



Old School and Team Building

Old School and Team Building

Blount was in Tampa when the team drafted Doug Martin. He was caught up with being done wrong when Doug came in. As a matter of fact he was bothered with the thought of any back being drafted. Doug had to earn the spot. It wasn’t just given to him by the team. Some of 27s play assisted in 22 becoming the starter. Check out my thoughts on this process.

New players earning respect has been done away with in regards to the old way of doing things. Fighting for your life was a way I use to look at my job or my starting position.

I remember having to actually fight for the respect of the players on the team. I remember, Eddie Johnson, challenging me because he was the tough head hunter on defense at the time. The “Georgia Assassin” was his nickname. “You not coming up in here young man.” I went right back up in there. That was where a bond, that would never be broken, got established. #fortheloveofthegame

I can remember the transition began to happen when I became the player development director/coach/scout..etc. It was 2003/04. The Ravens had drafted a brand new, polished up QB in the first round. (Kyle Boller) We had played a season, but he hadn’t made the cut to win the job.

We had a personnel meeting during the off-season, to discuss the team. One of the topics was the QB position and who would be named the starter. The thought from management and some of the other scouts was, we drafted this guy to be our QB so let’s make him the guy. I spoke up, crazily, that a competition should be had, thus making the young fellow win the job and earn the respect of the players. My thought regarding the subject hinged on the thought that competition makes everybody better. If the youngster was worth his salt, then he would win the job as opposed to it being silver spooned to him.

Coming up in a era where you had to win your starting job, no matter where you were drafted, served to build a different type of character for me.

The leadership of the team made you earn your way. Veteran players or guys that had the position, had a fighting chance. They could work the off-season to battle for the job. Competition within the team, made everybody better. The players on the team appreciated the jobs they had even more so because they did and had to win it.

Nowadays, when a guy is drafted in the first three rounds, he is almost automatically placed in a starting position. What does that have the potential to do with the other players mind? How are they to look at themselves and their new teammates?

To me that stands as a potential way of building animosity between players, not a healthy respect and appreciation. Character is definitely checked during these times. Even when the players are giving a chance at battling for the position, the inner man is challenged.

The salary cap has definitely made the process of building a team more delicate. Yes, it was delicate anyway. The intricacies of any “team” sport are layered with all types of challenges. The NFL has a few more.

I feel the old school ways still have a relevance in some aspects of the game. Building character, respect and understanding within the team is a continual process. Earning your job should continue to be part of that.

Additional Motivation… Game within The Game

Additional Motivation… Game within The Game

A form of motivation and inspiration is playing a former team. Another is playing against a team that has someone good that plays the same position. Sunday night we saw Mark Ingram and Eddie Lacy show out. They are former teammates that both shined for The Crimson Tide.


I’m sure they had a couple conversations during the week and a bet or two about production. What ever was said between them, rest assured they were motivated to play their absolute best.

To me Mark was especially zoned in. His 2-4 yard runs were some of the best of the night. His ability to create some space verses unblocked defenders then finish a run powerfully, was amazing to me.


Let me show you a couple.


The design of this run calls for one defender to be left for the runner. It’s a form of power without a puller. Check the dbl teams inside then the single blocks by the two tight ends and the receiver. Mark (22) does a good job of rolling then cutting to the outside to defeat the defender circled in white. Result 10 yd gain.




The next play is a 4yd gain. What makes this good is Mark presses the first block enough to get the defense going. He knows based on the number count that the backside is free. He cuts back defeats the defensive end at the LOS, then powers his way to a four yard gain. Nice work!




The last one that I have for Mark is a run that happen early in the game. To me it’s a tone setter for what’s to come latter. #21 attacked #22 at the line of scrimmage and delivered all he had but…bounced off and layer on the turf. It was no jumping up trying to get back in the play. He layer there as the action finished and finally got up and walked off slowly. It was a 2-3 yd gain but will be more later because of the affect on the defense. Esp #21




The below clip shows #21 coming in to face Mark Ingram in the hole. This one on one encounter has been decided on the play just above. The defender comes in and ducks his head as you see. Mark cuts up and gains 9yds. The way he felt after hitting Mark and bouncing off, let him know he didn’t want it the next time. The mentality was set!




We can’t forget Eddie Lacy although I felt Mark was special on SNF.


On the counter play that is pictured, the timing got off some. Eddie had the patience to stay on the back hip of his puller. This made the defender peak inside, which allowed Eddie to run for 8-10 yards outside of the peaking defender.




Both guys were special but it seemed #22 had a little more in his running Sunday night. Just as it seemed Drew Brees had a little more than AR.


The interesting aspect of this is whether or not both guys can continue to play at this level. Can they continue to tap into the source that provided the inspiration to play as they did Sunday?


I hope you all enjoy the game within the game.


Coach EB


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