Eagles wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead was asked on Friday how he’ll help rookie wideout John Hightower forget about a less-than-stellar NFL debut.
Simply put … he won’t.
“I don’t like the word forget,” Moorehead said. “You want him to learn from Week 1, right? And continue to grow.”
In that regard, the Eagles’ first-year receivers coach has been thoroughly impressed by Jalen Reagor and Hightower this week. Both made some mistakes in their NFL debuts, but they’ve attacked the week.
The first-rounder and fifth-rounder have taken all the necessary steps to get better going into Week 2.
“They’ve been really good,” Moorehead said. “Both of these guys had a chance to watch the film on their own. Obviously, we watched it as a staff a couple of times. You get a chance to watch it with them and revisit it. The maturity of those two young guys is really good. I think you had a chance to talk to Jalen earlier in the week and he said that. It was good hearing him say what he said. It showed me he’s not only listening, but he’s processing the information and moving forward. I love that about Jalen and John. Both of those guys did a good job of not only hearing what we’re saying, but having their own information too and being able to move forward.
“To me, that’s the difference between a college player and a pro. A pro player, you’re going to watch on your own, you’re going to gather your information and then have your coach dissect it to you, have the quarterback dissect it to you. And then you’re able to read and react off of that.
“Both of those guys did a good job Week 1 of just learning from it, moving on and just not making the same mistakes and fixing the things that we wanted to fix. Really just concentrating on that. Not just fixing it, but truly concentrating on it. That’s an important detail for a young guy to get.”
There’s always a learning curve for rookie receivers but it’s probably a little steeper this year after the unusual offseason and training camp. Normally, those rookie wideouts get a chance to work out some of the kinks during preseason games and there weren’t any this year.
The Eagles will be relying on Reagor and, to a lesser extent, Hightower, all season, so it’s imperative that these two players continue to grow. Eventually, Quez Watkins should return from his back injury too. And having the possibility of having young players grow with the franchise quarterback is exciting.
It’s also exciting to think about these guys getting to grow with a receivers coach. That’s a luxury the Eagles haven’t had in recent years. This is Doug Pederson’s fifth season as the head coach and Moorehead is his fifth receivers coach.
It seems like these guys guys have a good working relationship with their coach and that’s a good thing. But all that really matters is that these improvements show up on Sunday.