Ken Flajole

Eagles LBs coach Ken Flajole injured in second quarter

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Eagles LBs coach Ken Flajole injured in second quarter

Eagles linebackers coach Ken Flajole needed to leave the sideline on a cart after being taken out by a play near the sideline late in the second quarter. 

The 63-year-old position coach was standing on the sideline when linebacker Nigel Bradham took out Pierre Garcon near the sideline and Flajole was wiped out too. It looked like Flajole's head slammed into the ground. It took a few minutes before he even sat up. 

Players and coaches gathered around the coach as trainers checked him out. Eventually, Flajole was helped to a cart that took him off the field at halftime. On one play, linebacker Najee Goode was almost late getting into the game for a play because he was standing near Flajole. 

Flajole returned to the sidelines for the start of the second half.

Flajole (pronounced FLAY-juhl) joined the Eagles' coaching staff last year. He is the oldest coach on the Eagles' staff. 

You'll likely remember when news of Flajole's hire broke last year, it let folks know the Eagles must have a head coach in place. Later that day, reports surfaced that Doug Pederson was hired.

Eagles LBs coach thinks there's more ceiling for Jordan Hicks

Eagles LBs coach thinks there's more ceiling for Jordan Hicks

Jordan Hicks is a good middle linebacker. 

After his first two seasons in the NFL, the former third-round pick has piled up some eye-popping numbers. 

In his first 24 games in the league (his rookie season was cut short with a pec injury), he has seven interceptions, 14 passes defensed, four fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and two sacks. 

He's just the fifth player in NFL history — and only linebacker — to have that many INTs, fumble recoveries and forced fumbles in the first two years of his career. 

Hicks, who turns 25 later this month, is already really good. The next step is to become great. 

Is there room for more growth? 

"I would hope so," Eagles linebackers coach Ken Flajole said last week. "We're all emotionally tied in with our guys. I think he's done a great job for us. Is there room for improvement? No question. But he works at it. It's important to him. I know it's important for him that he puts the team success above himself. 

"I would suspect that there's more ceiling for him at linebacker. And I expect him to work at those things." 

Hicks actually had a chance to work on some of those things this offseason. As he exited last year, it was clear Hicks possessed ball-hawk traits, but admittedly needed to get better against the run. 

After his first NFL season, Hicks was stuck recovering from his torn pectoral and subsequent surgery. The rehab didn't allow him to strength train as much as he would have liked. 

This year, it's been a different story. He's hit the weight room hard, put on some extra weight, and hasn't been hamstrung by a tedious rehab process. 

"It's been great, man," Hicks said. "Having a full offseason to get in rhythm, having a full offseason to lift and get stronger and not have to take a step back to rehab and do everything over again, it's huge. Huge. To just build and stack and stack on top of each other."

Flajole agrees with Hicks, that the extra time in the weight room will help him against the run, specifically at the point of attack.  

Flajole isn't the only person in the NovaCare Complex who thinks big things are still ahead for Hicks. After the season finale against the Cowboys last season, Malcolm Jenkins said he thought Hicks is "trending to be one of the better linebackers in this league."

While Hicks wants to improve his run defense, it's undeniable that the strength of his game — to this point — is his knack for being around the ball. He always seems to be making a big play, whether it's an interception or a fumble recovery. 

It might seem like chance, but Flajole doesn't discount it as such. 

"He's a very instinctual guy and I think he understands the game," Flajole said. "The thing that can't be discounted for Jordan is that he works at it. He watches a lot of tape and because of those things, he feeds off of tendencies that the offense would give him, either by down and distance or formation. And he uses those to his advantage." 

For the second straight year, Hicks will be in the same defense under Jim Schwartz and will have the same battery mate in Nigel Bradham, who enters the second year of his two-year deal. 

At some point before the 2017 season starts, Hicks will set some personal goals for himself, like he does every year. While he hasn't set them yet, Hicks said they are normally leadership-based or stat-based. 

"It definitely gives you something to reach for and keep you on track," Hicks said. "Just like you set team goals. If you're not setting goals, you're just working towards nothing, just shooting in the air at nothing." 

One thing the goals won't be is accolade-based. Sure, Hicks would like to be named to his first Pro Bowl, but that won't be on the checklist. 

If he gets better than he's been in Year 1 and 2, it'll only be a matter of time before the recognition catches up with his stats. 

"I'm not really worried about the accolades at this point," he said. "It's not really what I'm focused on. I believe that if you're doing what you need to do, day in and day out, you're giving it everything you got, the rest will come. I'm focused on what I can do for this team, what I can do to make this team the best it can be. And let the rest fall in place."

Mychal Kendricks appears in line for another year of limited snaps

Mychal Kendricks appears in line for another year of limited snaps

During the 2016 season, Mychal Kendricks didn't do much to hide the fact he was frustrated with his lack of playing time. 

After Jim Schwartz's defense came to town, the Eagles used their nickel package more and more. That meant Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham stayed on the field, while Kendricks pulled up a seat. 

And it doesn't seem like that's going to change anytime soon. 

"Mych's done a good job for us," Eagles linebackers coach Ken Flajole said Monday. "I think everyone is concerned about how come Mych's not in nickel right now? 

"Again, if nickel turns into a three-linebacker package, he'll be out there."

Well, that's not going to happen. Kendricks, who played just 27 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps in 2016, appears headed for a similar role in 2017, despite a salary cap hit of $6.6 million, more than Hicks and Bradham combined. 

Kendricks was a part of the Eagles' base package in 2016 but was the odd man out when they went into nickel, coming off the field in favor of a defensive back. According to Flajole, the team was in nickel just over 70 percent of the time in 2016. 

While Kendricks was on the sideline, Hicks and Bradham played well. More importantly, they stayed healthy. Both played at least 95 percent of the team's defensive snaps last season. 

Early last season, Kendricks finally admitted his frustration. And he did it again late in the season after a bizarre display where he practiced long-snapping on the sideline during a December loss to Washington.

This offseason, Kendricks has been the subject of trade rumors but nothing has materialized yet. He's still on the team.  

"Mych's done a good job for us, No. 1," Flajole said. "Again, if you're really truly a competitor and you're not playing every snap, I would expect that nobody would be happy with the fact that they're just out there in base right now and they have limited time in our nickel package. I know this: I know he's important to our defense. I'm glad he's here. 

"Again, somebody asked me what does he have to do to get out on the field? Well, my comment was if we were starting Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks in our nickel package, you would ask me what does Jordan Hicks have to do to get on the field? It's just the math of what we've got right now. It's a nickel league with a two-linebacker set right now and unfortunately, the numbers crunch a little bit, and not in his favor."

Flajole spent a good portion of his session with reporters Monday talking about the changing landscape of the NFL. In his seventh stint with an NFL team, Flajole laughed when saying the Eagles were going to practice facing two-running back sets this spring because NFL teams rarely deploy two-running back sets anymore. 

It's a passing league. And that means a lot of time on the sideline for Kendricks for the second straight year. 

"I always tell him, 'Mych, even though you're not on the field right now, you're an ankle sprain away from being in,'" Flajole said, "'so we're going to count on you that way.' And he's embraced that. I wouldn't expect him to like it. I wouldn't expect anybody who's not playing to like it."