There might have been a few times over the years when an Eagle saw his position coach standing on the sideline, as the player was preparing to knock an opponent out of bounds, and thought perhaps fleetingly of two birds and one stone.
Nigel Bradham would like you to know, however, that he genuinely likes linebackers coach Ken Flajole, and did not intend to knock Flajole senseless late in the first half of the Eagles' 33-10 victory over San Francisco at Lincoln Financial Field.
Bradham was chasing 49ers receiver Pierre Garcon along the Eagles sideline on the first snap after the Birds had taken a 17-0 lead.
"The guy was trying to tiptoe the sideline, try to keep picking up yards. I was like, 'You've got to get out,' " Bradham said afterward. "It was a veteran guy, Pierre Garcon, so he knows how to do that. I wanted to get him out of bounds real quick. I didn't know my coach was standing right there."
Flajole, a 38-year coaching veteran, was slammed backward and seemed to hit his head on the ground. He stayed there through the final six plays of the half before he was helped to a cart and taken to the locker room. He returned for the second half, the NFL concussion protocol only applying to players.
Officially, Flajole was "shaken up."
"Man, he took a shot. We've been checking on him to make sure he's all right," Bradham said on a day when he and Mychal Kendricks worked hard to make up for the absence of middle linebacker Jordan Hicks. "He came back. But he hit his head pretty hard."
Garcon also missed some time after the Bradham hit.
"I was glad to see they were both able to get up from there, because it was a kind of vicious hit," Bradham said.
Eagles rookie Derek Barnett blocked a 27-yard field-goal attempt by Robbie Gould, the first time Barnett has ever done that, he said. Barnett eventually scooped up the ball but was wrestled down by 49ers tight end Garrett Celek.
"It was fun. It was exciting. Saw a lot of green grass [ahead]," Barnett said. "Wish we could have gotten into the end zone."
San Francisco offensive lineman Erik Magnuson blocked toward the middle. Barnett, lined up on Magnuson's outside shoulder and easily pushed past him and in on the kicker.
"The tackle, he was just soft on his down-block. I just creased it and got through," Barnett said.
"It all happened fast. The ball was right there, so I just tried to scoop it up and take it to the crib, but I didn't get too far," Barnett said.
Eagles cornerback Patrick Robinson exited the game in the second quarter with a concussion. The injury appeared to occur when Robinson hit 49ers receiver Aldrick Robinson, deflecting a pass in the air that safety Rodney McLeod intercepted.
The team announced that Robinson was being evaluated for a head injury and that he would not return. Robinson has been one of the key players on the Eagles defense this season, playing slot cornerback and rotating in as an outside cornerback in recent weeks. He started Sunday's game on the outside. The Eagles used Rasul Douglas, Jaylen Watkins, and Dexter McDougle after Robinson left.
Eagles kicker Jake Elliott set a franchise record after a 51-yard field goal on Sunday gave him five from 50 or more yards this season. He also connected on a 40-yarder and now has 13 field goals from 40 or more yards, tying Paul McFadden in 1984 for the second-best in franchise history in a single season. Only David Akers' 17 such field goals in 2004 top their 13.
But it was not all good on Sunday for the rookie kicker. Elliott missed two extra points, possibly because of rainy, windy conditions affecting the complex operation from snapper to holder to kicker. Those miscues didn't matter against the 49ers but might be crucial on another day.
It was indeed rainy much of the afternoon, with gusts of wind, as forecast. The worst, most sustained rain might have settled in after the game.
"It wasn't that bad, but it was annoying," Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills said.
Running back LeGarrette Blount (16 carries, 48 yards) said the weather "obviously had an effect on the game. We had a couple dropped passes, we had a bobbled handoff between me and Carson [Wentz]." Blount said the footing wasn't bad.