Earnest Byner

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Earnest Byner
No. 44, 21, 20
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-09-15) September 15, 1962 (age 53)
Place of birth: Milledgeville, Georgia
Career information
College: East Carolina
NFL draft: 1984 / Round: 10 / Pick: 280
Career history

As player

As coach

Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 8,261
Average: 3.9
Touchdowns: 56
Stats at NFL.com

Earnest Alexander Byner (born September 15, 1962) is a former American football running back in the National Football League.


Playing career[edit]

East Carolina University (1980–83)[edit]

Byner was a fullback at East Carolina University from 1980 to 1983 where he gained 2,049 yards on 378 carries. Byner was inducted into the East Carolina Hall of Fame in 1998. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

National Football League (1984–1997)[edit]

Byner was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the tenth round (280th pick overall) of the 1984 NFL Draft. He played for the Browns (1984–1988; 1994–1995), Washington Redskins (1989–1993) and the Baltimore Ravens (1996–1997). He finished his 14-year NFL career ranked 16th on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 8,261 yards on 2,095 carries, with 56 touchdowns. He also caught 512 passes for 4,605 yards and 15 touchdowns, returned 33 kickoffs for 576 yards, and scored a touchdown on a recovered fumble, totaling 13,442 all-purpose yards and 72 career scores. In addition to his #16 rushing yards ranking at the time of his retirement, Byner finished his career within the NFL's top 50 all-time leaders in rushing attempts, rushing touchdowns, and total yards.

Although a productive and popular player with the Browns, Byner is probably best remembered for one play, The Fumble, in which he lost the ball on the three-yard line while attempting to score against the Denver Broncos during the 1987 AFC Championship game. His fumble ruined an otherwise impressive performance, as he finished the game with 67 rushing yards, seven receptions for 120 yards, and two touchdowns.

Byner was traded to the Washington Redskins before the start of the 1989 season for running back Mike Oliphant. In Super Bowl XXVI, in 1992, he caught a touchdown pass in the second quarter, and the Redskins won, giving him the NFL Championship he could not win with the Browns.

Byner was a Pro Bowl selection in 1990 when he ranked fourth in the NFL with 1,219 yards rushing and in 1991 when he ranked fifth in the NFL with 1,048 yards rushing. His time with the Redskins earned him a position as one of the franchise's 70 Greatest Redskins.

Post-playing career[edit]

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

He worked in the Baltimore Ravens front office as the Director of Player Development after retiring as a player. He was the first player to be inducted into the Ravens' Ring of Honor in 2001.

Washington Redskins[edit]

In January 2004, Byner was hired to be the Running Backs Coach on Joe Gibbs' staff.[1] He held the same position with the Redskins organization for four seasons.

Tennessee Titans[edit]

On March 10, 2008, Byner was officially announced as the Running Back Coach for the Tennessee Titans. He was replaced by the Tennessee Titans on January 25, 2010 by former Running Back coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kennedy Pola.[2]

Jacksonville Jaguars[edit]

He was named Jaguars running backs coach on February 4, 2010.[3]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

He was named Buccaneers running backs coach on February 19, 2012.[4] He was let go after the 2013 season.


External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Gerald Riggs
Washington Redskins starting running back
Succeeded by
Reggie Brooks