3. Some of the guys Flajole worked with in Carolina won’t be strangers to Philadelphia Eagles fans.
In 2006, Flajole would have to adjust to three new starters at the linebacker position. The most notable of those three was Thomas Davis, even though he took a backseat in his rookie year. Chris Draft was a backup in 2005, but he was being asked to be a productive starter at 30-years-old in 2006. Both were up to their respective tasks.
Davis posted 90 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and pass breakups, and the Panthers saw continued improvement from him over the course of the next two seasons. He’d go on to become a household name in Carolina for 14 years as a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro. He’s still wreaking havoc and will play with the Washington Football Team in 2020.
Christ Draft wasn’t seen much after 2006, but he made the most of his last full season as a starter, putting up 110 combined tackles, seven more quarterback hits, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two passes defended.
In Flajole’s last two seasons as the Panthers’ linebackers coach, Carolina’s front office gave him another assignment when they drafted Jon Beason in the first round of 2007’s NFL Draft. He was asked to be a starter right away and didn’t waste any time getting acclimated to NFL football. 140 tackles in a rookie season isn’t normal. Then, he followed that up with a first-team All-Pro nod and a Pro Bowl nod in 2008 after notching 138 tackles, three interceptions, eight pass breakups, and an approximate value of 15. Beason went on to have a ten-year career with three total Pro Bowls and two All-Pro honors.