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Report: Eagles linebackers coach not returning in 2021

Another assistant gone.

NFL: AUG 16 Preseason - Eagles at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Eagles linebacker coach Ken Flajole will not be returning to Philadelphia’s coaching staff in 2021, according to a report from Alex Marvez.

Flajole, who turned 66 in October and originally started his coaching career in 1979, is said to be possibly retiring.

The Eagles originally hired Flajole to be their linebackers coach back in January 2016. Funny enough, news of his hiring broke before the report emerged that the Eagles had hired Doug Pederson.

Nigel Bradham and, to a lesser extent, Mychal Kendricks saw success under Flajole early on in his tenure. The quality of the Eagles’ linebacker corps waned in recent years, however. Flajole didn’t seem inclined to play L.J. Fort, who was cut and has gone on to thrive with the Baltimore Ravens. Flajole also highly valued Nathan Gerry despite the players’ apparent struggles. Flajole literally referred to Gerry as “one of the smartest football players.” In fairness, Alex Singleton emerged from relative obscurity under Flajole ... though only after Gerry got hurt.

And so one can only wonder if Flajole was pushed out the door.

Flajole seemed like a well-liked coach. Chris Long actually made a bet with him that if the Eagles won a Super Bowl in 2017, the defensive end would get a tattoo of Flajole’s face on his body. Long reportedly followed through.

Regardless of his likability, though, Flajole is gone and the Eagles will need a new linebackers coach. If they look to promote from within, assistant linebackers coach/game management coach Ryan Paganetti could be an internal candidate. I’d guess the Eagles might look for a more experienced option, though.

Flajole is the fourth coach we know of that won’t be returning to the Eagles next season. Defensive coordinator JIm Schwartz, senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello, and senior offensive consultant Marty Mornhinweg are the other goners. There could very well be more changes on the way.