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Love of football, city of Cleveland brings Earnest Byner back to Browns

Earnest Byner came to Cleveland last month for a roundtable discussion for the premiere of the documentary "Believeland" and to catch up with his old buddy, Kevin Mack.

After connecting with coach Hue Jackson and executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and soaking up the city he called home for multiple stints during his 14-year playing career, Byner realized he wouldn't be going anywhere for a while.

Byner, dressed in team gear from head to toe, has been in the Browns office in Berea working coaching hours since the beginning of OTAs. The former Browns running back not only carries 14 years of playing experience, but also logged 10 years with four different teams as a running backs coach. His last stint ended in 2013 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he's stayed in tune with the game through a variety of endeavors.

"I forgot how much it takes to really be involved with the coaching and the meetings but it's been fun because I'm involved in something that I care about deeply in a town I care about deeply and with an organization I care about," Byner said. "The energy is definitely there.

"I have a lot of experience as a player and an administrator and a coach. I think being able to observe in a somewhat non-attached position like I'm coming in is something that will help me be able to maybe make some suggestions or give some thoughts and feedback on things, communication, some techniques. I can offer a few things but what is available is the opportunity to be in touch with these guys, with the coaching staff, with Sashi, with the scouts, communicating on a friendly basis but also being able to try to make a difference in some of the things they're trying to accomplish."

A look back at legendary RB Earnest Byner.

Byner grew close to Brown when their paths crossed in Jacksonville in 2010 and 2011. He's gotten to know Jackson in the months since he was named Cleveland's head coach and has been impressed by his non-stop motor.

"Tremendous energy, tremendous passion," Byner said. "He has a very frank way of dealing and communicating but also a way of communicating that guys can gravitate to, really grab onto and make it theirs."

Byner described his last few months, which included extensive promotion for "Believeland," as a "whirlwind." Just earlier this month, he was in Bristol, Connecticut, at ESPN's studios to promote the documentary on a Friday and in Cleveland to participate in Browns Fan Fest on the very next day.

Author of "Everybody Fumbles," Byner has been open and honest while reliving his fumble from the Browns 1987 AFC Championship on multiple platforms. It's brought him even closer to a city he considers his second home.

"It's been a love affair because of the connectivity that is involved with the sports of the city and mainly the Browns and the citizens of Cleveland," Byner said. "The fans we have have been tremendous with outpouring of love and support. The communication back and forth has been frankly healing on a lot of levels."

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