- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Before training camps kick off, a number of players and some coaches will pay tribute to people who helped them make it to the NFL as part of the AFC South Blog’s summer series: “Early Influence.”
Eben Britton, Jaguars right tackle
“I’d probably have to say all my work ethic was instilled by my high school head coach, Keith Knoop, who I was with from my sophomore year through to when I graduated [John Burroughs High School in Ridgecrest, Calif.]. He was just a real blue collar guy, was all about hard work and he really taught me about what it means to have a work ethic as a football player and kind of what that means as your responsibilities as an athlete and the way other people view you.
“It’s little things. Always hustling around the field, never walk on the football field. I was taught that from the very beginning. With that mindset, not everybody has that. It’s an interesting concept in football, just having that great work ethic. I can’t really speak of anything specific. But that’s one thing I always remember right from the beginning: Never walk on the football field. Having that kind of respect for what we do and the game that we play.
“I always have that feeling still that if I am walking, I am doing something wrong. This year, Coach Jack [Del Rio] has really been putting it out there, if you're walking, you’re wrong. You hear him saying that all the time. That was something I was brought up with in football. That’s a great way to build a working foundation, know what I mean?”