Moorehead Catching On as Eagles WRs Coach
In recent years, the underperforming Eagles’ receiving corps has remained a hot-button topic.
Newly appointed wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead expects to flip the script in 2020.
“We have an expectation to be one of the top groups in the league,” Moorehead said in a Zoom call with reporters Thursday. “That’s what we expect. This group is coming out with a little bit of a chip on its shoulder I think, because of last year, and that’s a good thing.”
Moorehead, who became the Eagles’ fifth wide receivers coach in as many seasons, was originally an undrafted free agent signing of the Indianapolis Colts in 2003. Primarily known for his special teams prowess during his time in Indianapolis, Moorehead managed to carve out a five-year playing career before joining the coaching ranks.
Following stints at New Mexico, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, the winding coaching trail landed Moorehead in Philadelphia, where he faces the difficult task of developing a relatively inexperienced group – in an offseason that’s been anything but ordinary.
If Moorehead’s vision is to transpire, he’ll need significant contributions from first-round pick Jalen Reagor, who has spent time cross-training at the X and Z positions. Reagor is lauded for his inherent recall ability and has handled everything the team has thrown in his direction in the early goings, Moorehead said.
“He’s a powerful guy, he’s fast, he’s got good hands,” Moorehead added. “We’re doing stuff on air – this is what it’s supposed to look like. To say what things he has to work on is hard because we haven’t gone against a defense yet, but he’s done a really, really good job at picking up the offense – and so far, so good.”
Reagor’s football intellect, explosive traits, and valued versatility should empower the offensive minds to devise ways to get the ball in his hands and take advantage of his ability to maneuver in space. His offense coordinator at TCU told Inside The Birds in April that Reagor would easily adapt to any NFL offense.
Another reason for optimism is DeSean Jackson’s return. Even at 33 years old, Jackson is widely regarded as one of the league’s premier vertical threats. While he hasn’t participated in a full slate of games since 2013, Jackson has made a full recovery from core muscle surgery and, according to ITB’s Adam Caplan, has added some bulk to his slender frame this offseason. If Jackson can be available for the better part of the season, he can help the modernized offense potentially finish among the NFL’s elite.
The addition of Moorehead figures to pay dividends. As a former undrafted wide receiver who defied odds for five seasons, Moorehead understands what it takes to survive in the NFL. Along the way he’s acquired an innate sense of emotional intelligence. He can relate to players on and off the field.
Moorehead’s proven track record of developing young players such as Christian Kirk, Josh Reynolds, and Kalija Lipscomb — while prioritizing versatility — is also good news for J.J. Arcega Whiteside, Greg Ward, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins.
The team is banking on Whiteside, who compares favorably in size to Moorehead, to make a substantial sophomore leap. The former second-round pick has the opportunity to seize a starting job under Moorehead’s tutelage.
Although the position consists primarily of moving parts, Moorehead remains steadfast in initiating the arduous climb towards prominence.
– Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) is a contributor to InsideTheBirds.com. He also writes for Pro Football Network.
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