Pederson Lectures Bradham
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Doug Pederson’s frustration with Nigel Bradham was evident on Wednesday and it’s probably only getting worse from here as TMZ.com confirmed that the veteran linebacker was formally charged with felony battery after allegedly punching a cabana boy back in July at a Miami-Beach area hotel.
The 27-year-old was also arrested in a separate incident earlier this week for bringing a loaded gun through the Miami airport.
“My message (to the players before the bye week) was, ‘Be smart. Be careful. Protect each other away from the building,’ ’’ Pederson said when asked about Bradham’s latest arrest. “Guys have to make better decisions when they’re away from the building.”
Pederson also didn’t hold back when discussing the actual act.
“I don’t know why anybody would’ carry a loaded gun in public,” he said. “I don’t know all the circumstances around it. But it’s a big deal to do that. Listen, I’ve got rifles and I like to hunt. But we have to be smart. It is a little surprising that he carried it.’’
The incident at the hotel, however, is far more serious one because Bradham had a concealed/carry permit for the firearm and officials bought his story that he simply forgot that he left the gun in his backpack.
“I can talk to him until I’m blue in the face,’’ Pederson said. “I could sit him down. I could suspend him. I could do a lot of different things. But at the same time, because it is a legal matter and the league could potentially step in, until I get all of the information, we go with business as usual."
Back on July 25, it’s alleged that Bradham became irate because the cabana boy, who was actually a man in his 50s, was taking too long to set up a beach umbrella for Bradham and his friends.
The Miami State Attorney’s Office formally charged the veteran with aggravated battery causing bodily harm -- a 2nd degree felony, which could carry as many as 15 years in prison. His trial is set for January.
“It’s no different [for me]. If I’m away from this building, the things that I do as a [person] when you’re not the head football coach and you’re with your family, you have to make smart choices,” the coach said. “It’s easier when they’re in town and you can kind of control the environment a little bit and protect them. But they’ve got to be a little smarter away from the building.’’
Complicating matters for the Eagles is that Bradham has played very well early this season.
“He’s played well,’’ Pederson admitted. “He’s been one of the bright spots on defense and also has had a role on special teams. He’s been a valuable part to what we’ve done defensively.’’
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen