Doug Pederson: Josh Huff Will Play Sunday, Despite Arrest
Josh Huff will play on Sunday against the New York Giants and will not face any punishment yet from the Eagles for his arrest on Tuesday, Doug Pederson announced Wednesday morning.
A criminal summons was issued to Huff for possessing marijuana under 50 grams, along with two warrants for unlawful possession of a weapon and prohibited weapons/devices, the Delaware River Port Authority told Philadelphia magazine in an email. Huff was also issued New Jersey traffic summons for DUI, speeding and obstructed view because of tinted windows.
However, the Eagles’ head coach said he needs to gather more information before making a disciplinary decision about Huff.
“I just need to hear officially through an investigation what took place and what happened,” Pederson said. “I want to see exactly what happened, maybe talk to some people and find out. It’s outside of the building, obviously, and a lot of times these situations are out of our control. I just want to get everything tightened up.
“There comes a time when there could be some discipline. Obviously, this could be a case. I just want to make sure I’m doing right by these players and they’re doing right by themselves and we’re handling our business away from this building right. If that means discipline at some point, then we address it at that point.”
Pederson confirmed Huff was at the NovaCare Complex Tuesday morning to watch game film before he was stopped on the Walt Whitman Bridge around 11 a.m., but he didn’t specify whether the 25-year-old was driving directly from the Eagles’ facility. Pederson also declined to answer whether he was concerned about players potentially having weapons and hollow point bullets on the Eagles’ premises.
While Pederson expects to hear from the NFL about Huff’s arrest, the league has not contacted the Eagles yet. Pederson and Huff did speak after the arrest, with the Eagles’ head coach conveying his disappointment and dejection, which he said the receiver shared.
“Is it something that I condone? Is it something I would expect? No, it’s not,” Pederson said. “Again, it goes back to being a man and making the right decision. These guys are professional athletes. They’re still, obviously, young adults learning about life. These are the things they need to focus on and they need to see. I’ve been through that as a player. I’ve seen it with other teammates.
“But at the same time, they need to know the decisions and choices they make away from this building are going to affect them as a player, it’s going to affect eventually the team and I think eventually it’s going to affect their future in the NFL.”
Huff is the second Eagle to be arrested for an incident involving a gun in a month after Nigel Bradham’s October arrest. Miami airport security found a loaded gun in one of Bradham’s bags, and although he was found to have no criminal intent, police held him in custody because he was out on bond from his previous arrest in July when he allegedly assaulted a hotel employee.
Pederson said he has specifically addressed guns when talking to his team.
“I have them. I have hunting rifles and things like that, but they’re registered [and] they got permit for them,” Pederson said. “Again, there’s league policy, there’s Philadelphia Eagles policy and those are things we visit every year. We just need to continue to revisit these things. I don’t necessarily understand why they need guns outside of sport hunting or whatever, but we just continue to educate our players and try to curb it the best we can.”
Huff is the third Eagle to have an off-the-field incident in the last four months when including Nelson Agholor, who was accused but ultimately never charged with sexually assaulting a dancer at Cheerleaders Gentlemen’s Club. Pederson, however, said he feels he still has control over his team.
“It’s like you’re the father of your house and you just got to keep talking to your siblings and just keep talking to your kids and keep reiterating who you represent, what you represent, your family, the Philadelphia Eagles and you got to make smart choices,” Pederson said. “It’s all about choices and consequences in life. If you make bad choices, you got to suffer the consequences.
“My job sometimes is to be that father figure for some of these players and understanding their history and how they grew up. It may not be how I grew up, but at the same time, I’m going to wrap my arm around them and love on them and try to show them the right direction.”