The other coach from 2017 who’s coaching in this Super Bowl too


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Two weeks before Doug Pederson was fired in the 2021 offseason, Ken Flajole stepped down.

The veteran NFL coach spent five seasons as the Eagles’ linebackers coach and at age 66, it sounded like he was going to retire. But then a few months later, Flajole’s name appeared on a press release from the Chiefs.

His retirement was short-lived as he took a job to coach outside linebackers in Kansas City.

What happened?

“Oh I don’t know,” Flajole said this week as his last two teams get set to face off in Super Bowl LVII. “I think when I got back home my wife said, ‘Hey listen, you’re making all these decisions about where to put the dishes and stuff.’ She goes, ‘Maybe you need to go back out and find another job.’ So anyhow, it worked out.”

Flajole is a football lifer and was once the defensive coordinator with the Rams a little over a decade ago. That’s when he connected with Chris Long, eventually leading to a well-known Super Bowl bet five years ago.

While Flajole’s time in Philly came under Doug Pederson, he has even older ties with Andy Reid. Flajole and Reid coached together 35 years ago at Texas-El Paso under Bob Still in 1987 when Flajole was the DC and Reid was the OL coach.

Flajole said Reid is pretty much the same guy now that he’s always been.

“That’s the thing that makes him so good is that he’s just so consistent,” he said. “No highs and lows. Very steady, whether we win, whether we lose, whether we play good, whether we don’t play well. Just a steady guy.”


Flajole wasn’t going to keep coaching for just any team. With the Chiefs he found a spot with a good team and enough familiarity.

“If I was going to go back and do it again, I wanted to make sure I could do it with people I knew and somewhere that had a legitimate chance for success,” Flajole said. “I wasn’t really looking to go back with a franchise that was building a program. I didn’t need to do that. It just kind of fell together. It was good for me.”

He feels pretty good about that decision now that he’s back in the Super Bowl.

Flajole and Jeff Stoutland are the two position coaches from Super Bowl LII who will be coaching again in Super Bowl LVII. This time they’ll be going against each other.

While Flajole was in Philly, he got close to Stoutland. The two veteran coaches would have long conversations. Flajole would give Stout the defensive perspective on a situation and Stoutland would give the offensive perspective. It worked quite well.

“I have a lot of respect for Jeff,” he said. “Jeff’s a really good football coach.”

And when Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was with the Giants, Stoutland would always ask Flajole about him because Flajole and Spags had coached together before in a few spots.

“They’re well-coached and they’re talented,” Flajole said of the Eagles’ OL. “I told our guys I think this will be the best offensive line we’ve faced this year. Lane Johnson, (Jason) Kelce, guys like that, (Isaac) Seumalo. The new guys they have I don’t know as much. But they’re a talented group and they’re well coached. So we have our hands full.”

Flajole said he’s been impressed watching Jalen Hurts from this season. The Eagles drafted Hurts in 2020 so he was able to get a good look at him for a year and knows what kind of threat he is.

The key to rushing Hurts, Flajole said, is to be disciplined. They can’t let him escape with his feet because they’re linemen won’t be able to chase him down.

While there are plenty of new faces on the Eagles’ defense since Flajole left a couple years ago, some of his guys are still there. He mentioned T.J. Edwards, Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham specifically.

“They’re all guys that I was hoping would do well and they have done well,” he said. “They’re good people. I know it’s always a competitive thing to get into this game. But there’s a lot of friends that I have in that organization, both players and coaches. I’m glad they’re in it. They deserve it. They’re good people, they work hard. It’ll be a fun game.”


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