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Tidbits from the 1991 Redskins Press Guide - Earnest Byner #21 Running Back


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Up Close:


He was the only player in the NFL in 1990 to rush, receive and throw for a touchdown.

Earnest served as his class president at Baldwin High School in Milledgeville, GA.


Career Highlights:


Earnest was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 1990

1990 1st team all-pro by USA Today

Earnest holds 3rd best single-season rushing mark in Redskin history (1,219 yards in 1990)

He is one of only 11 players in NFL history to gain over 1,000 yards with two different teams.


Obtained in a trade from Cleveland Browns on draft day, 1989 for running back Mike Oliphant.


1990 Season:


When the Washington Redskins wanted to return to a formula of success that included a ball-control, grind-it-out oriented attack - the burden fell on the shoulders of Earnest Byner.  Not only did he not back down from the challenge, Earnest put together his finest season in the NFL.  "He carried the load," said running backs coach Don Breaux.  "He's a slashing quick type of runner with good strength and it lends itself to our one-back offense.  Earnest is a threat as a pass receiver and he totally understands what happens out there and he has the ability to produce in a game situation."  He produced enough to finish fourth in the NFL in rushing with 1,219 yards and was selected to his first Pro Bowl (the first Redskin runner selected since Mike Thomas in 1976.)   And when the Redskins were faced with a 5-4 record and the prospect of missing the playoffs for the third straight season, Earnest took things into his own hands.  Taking on the full-time rushing duties beginning with New Orleans in Week 10, he averaged 110 yards and 26 carries a contest over the final seven weeks of the season.  During the stretch run in which the Redskins won five of seven games and were the second-best rushing team in the NFL, Earnest rushed for over 100 yards 5 times, including four straight 100-yard efforts (the last Redskin to post four straight 100-yard games was John Riggins in the 1982 playoffs.)  The impressive streak included 157-yards vs Miami, 121-yards vs Chicago, 149-yards at New England and 154-yards at Indianapolis and for his efforts he was chosen the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for December.  His 297 rushing attempts let the NFL and his 39-carry effort at New England is the second-best mark in club history.  While becoming one of only 11 players to rush for over 1,000 yards with two different teams (Cleveland, 1,002 yards in 1985) Earnest continued to be one of the most versatile players in the NFL. Earnest threw his first career touchdown pass when he hit Ricky Sanders for 31-yards vs the Giants.

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Hard to believe we got him for Mike Oliphant.

He was originally meant to be the change of pace back, with Gerald Riggs carrying the load. Beathard and Gibbs had their nastiest spat over Riggs -B didn't think he had anything left in the tank, but Gibbs wanted to sell the farm to get him. When JKC sided with Joe, Beathard quit. In the end, other than one big game aagainst Atlanta, Riggs wound up as just a 3rd down short yardage RB. Byner redeemed himself from the fumble and won us a SB.

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