Aaron Moorehead tried to contain his excitement about Travis Fulgham when he was promoted to the active roster on Oct. 3.
The Eagles' wide receivers coach had seen the 25-year-old make plenty of plays on the practice squad, enough to pique his interest, but Moorehead needed to see it in a game situation first. After Fulgham caught a go-ahead touchdown pass against the 49ers in his first game, Moorehead was convinced.
“As a coach, you kind of have to wait and see,” Moorehead said. “He was able to do that against San Francisco, and he’s just gotten better and better each week.”
With four games of consistent production, Fulgham has emerged as the Eagles' No. 1 receiver, and his three weeks spent on the practice squad have become the stuff of legends among Eagles players, including safety Jalen Mills.
“You can ask anybody on the team, he was a guy I actually used to brag on [from] the sideline,” Mills said after the 49ers game. “Once he got in during camp, I’ve literally never seen him drop a ball. I used to always walk up and down the sideline every time he would catch a ball and I would say, ‘I’ve never seen this dude drop a ball in practice.’ ”
Fulgham gained traction with the Eagles after being waived by both the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers in a two-week span in August. Moorehead said he doesn’t know what doomed Fulgham in his previous stops, but he said the Lions' 2019 sixth-round pick had a surprising level of composure even in his early days with the Eagles.
“Maybe it’s some things are going on in your personal life, maybe it’s you and the quarterback aren’t on the same page, maybe it’s you and the coaching staff that aren’t on the same page,” Moorehead said. “I can’t say that one thing or another has happened to Travis, but I know this: When he came here, there was a sense of comfort. Something about him, as soon as he got here, he started practicing -- I don’t know if it was some weight off his shoulders, maybe he didn’t feel any pressure -- but all of a sudden, the guy just starts making plays.”
Moorehead joined the coaching staff this offseason with the assignment of fixing a wide receiver corps ravaged by injuries and devoid of explosive plays for most of last season. The results, even with injuries thinning the group yet again, have been better this season largely thanks to Fulgham’s contributions.
Fulgham was called up from the practice squad in Week 4 and has quickly become Carson Wentz’s favorite target. His 357 receiving yards lead the team, and he’s caught a touchdown pass in three of his four games. Over that stretch, he’s been targeted 37 times, which is nearly as many as Greg Ward and John Hightower combined.
Moorehead, who coached wide receivers at Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt before joining the Eagles' staff, said he’s familiar with players flying under the radar before capitalizing on an opportunity like Fulgham is doing.
“There seems to be a guy or two every year that this happens to,” Moorehead said. “Recruiting isn’t an exact science when you’re talking about high school kids in college, and the draft isn’t an exact science when you’re talking about college into pros, and free agency isn’t an exact science when you’re talking about guys later on. But I’m hopeful that Travis continues to do what he’s done and continues to work hard and continues to be a big part of this offense this year.”