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Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Byner could be returning to Washington

By John Keim

Earnest Byner might be returning to the Redskins. Again. reported that Byner is headed back to Washington to join Jay Gruden's coaching staff. But that has not yet been confirmed and the Washington Post reported that they spoke with Byner and he would only say that he'd like to return. But he did not tell the newspaper that he has indeed landed a job on Gruden's staff. It's uncertain yet if or when Byner will be interviewed.

It's likely he'd coach the running backs if he did return, considering that's the position he played and also coached at each of his four coaching stops. He was the Redskins' running backs coach from 2004-07, coaxing a 1,516-yard season from Clinton Portis in 2005. Portis had three seasons of at least 1,200 rushing yards under Byner and Ladell Betts ran for 1,154 yards when Portis was hurt in 2006.

But Byner was let go after Joe Gibbs retired and Jim Zorn brought in Sherman Smith. Byner then spent two years with Tennessee, two more with Jacksonville and the last two with Tampa Bay. Byner was considered tough but fair when he coached in Washington the first time.

Byner played for Washington from 1989-93. He would replace Bobby Turner, who was told Monday that he would not be retained. Meanwhile, former Redskins quarterback Doug Williams told ESPN980 that he has spoken to general manager Bruce Allen about a potential role here, but said he was not sure what was going to happen.