Frustrated Huff Opens Up
Josh Huff’s name keeps coming up for all the wrong reasons.
Most recently, he seemed to pin his actions during the Micah Hyde punt return on his coaches, saying: “I just did my job, did what the coaches told me to do. If I would have stuck to what I know, I would have made that play.”
Huff admitted that he let his frustrations get the better of him in the locker room at Lambeau Field Sunday, but also said his comments were misinterpreted to a degree.
“I’m definitely not the one to point fingers for my mistakes. What I was trying to get across was that I always listen to what the coaches tell me and it was to break down before I got to the returner because last week when we played the Panthers I almost had a run-in with the returner, and it would have been flagged if I dropped the ball. Me slowing down as much as I did kind of interfered with my timing that I had with the punt and led me to miss the tackle that I normally would make nine out of ten times.”
That sequence was just another example of a rookie who hasn’t quite found the right balance between mind and body on the field.
Huff believes some of his struggles are tied to the shoulder injury he suffered back in the preseason. He lost valuable learning time while sidelined and says he has been spinning his wheels ever since to catch up.
“I just haven’t been myself to be quite frank. I haven’t been myself at all. I’ve been trying to force everything, force my routes. I’ve been thinking too much about messing up, I haven’t just let it loose,” he said. “The way I can fix that is just play balls out, play balls to the wall and just compete for myself and compete for my teammates and compete for the city of Philadelphia.
“I know what I can do and I’m just so impatient to show that and it’s caused me to drop balls, it’s caused me to not protect the ball that I know how to protect and just trying to do too much instead of letting the game come to me. I don’t know what else to say about how piss-poorly I’ve played so far this season.”
Huff has been targeted 13 times and has been charged with three drops, per PFF. Two of those targets resulted in interceptions. Huff also fumbled one of his six receptions near the goal line in Arizona, which proved costly.
“I think he’s a capable backup right now and he’s working himself into a position to see the field more,” said Chip Kelly, “but he’s got to prove it to us, just like all our other guys, in terms of what he does from a practice standpoint and a game standpoint.”
Rookie struggles are common, particularly at wide receiver. But the quality of this receiver class and the fact that Huff previously played under Kelly at Oregon has more eyeballs pointed in his direction.
“I just want to play for him, I want to play for the team and most importantly I just want to give hell to all the teams that passed on me. Chip did me a favor by bringing me here, and I just have to repay him by showing the city of Philadelphia and everybody else how well I can play and what I can bring to the table,” said Huff. “Unfortunately things haven’t gotten off to a quick start like I wanted them to, but I just have to keep working, keep pushing. Whether my time comes this year or next year, when I hit the scene it’s definitely going to be fun to watch.”