Precedent is Pederson’s Problem with Huff
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Those wondering what Doug Pederson might do about Josh Huff weren’t paying attention.
The Eagles’ head coach confirmed the organization would let the legal process play out for Huff, who was arrested Tuesday morning for speeding across the Walt Whitman Bridge and being caught with marijuana as well as an unlicensed firearm.
Pederson was obviously disappointed in Huff’s decision-making but the coach already foreshadowed his handling of the incident in the wake of Nigel Bradham’s two prior arrests.
"Until I find out exactly the severity of it and what's going to happen down the road, right now, nothing (will change),” the coach claimed.
Ostensibly Bradham also wasn’t disciplined by the Eagles, although he did see somewhat curtailed playing time in Detroit, after getting pinched a second time in recent months for bringing a gun to the Miami airport.
Pederson denied the lighter workload was because of the incident but either way that was the extent of Bradham’s punishment for now until his legal story is told.
Huff, meanwhile, was back on the practice field Wednesday, a day after his embarrassing incident and is scheduled to play against the New York Giants on Sunday in his usual role as the team’s fourth receiver and main kickoff returner.
That said, don’t be surprised if Wendell Smallwood takes the first kickoff in North Jersey.
Owner Jeffrey Lurie was spotted on the practice field speaking with Huff and Pederson also spoke to the embattled receiver privately.
Huff was pulled over while crossing from Philadelphia into South Jersey on Tuesday.
According to the police report furnished to 973espn.com by the Delaware River Port Authority, Huff was issued three tickets, a criminal summons and two warrants stemming from the most serious aspect of the incident, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of six hollow point bullets.
The tickets issued were for DUI, speeding and an obstructed view due to deeply tinted windows while the summons was for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana.
Details from the police report say Huff was pulled over at about 11 A.M. and the officer smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. When questioned about the odor the University of Oregon product turned over the marijuana and also admitted that he had a black Smith and Wesson 9 MM that was loaded in the driver-side door.
An NFL source told 973espn,com that Huff has a permit for the weapon in his native Texas but that means little in New Jersey, which does not have reciprocal agreements with any other state in the country.
Meanwhile, even if Huff was licensed in the Garden State, guns being transported into the state have to be kept either in the trunk of a car or in a locked container.
Asked if his team had a problem with guns, Pederson demurred a bit, instead focusing on the choiced Huff made.
"I have them. I have hunting rifles, and things like that," the coach explained. "They're registered and they got permits for them. There's league policy, there's Philadelphia Eagles policy and we just need to continue to revisit these things. I don't understand why they need guns outside of sport hunting or whatever."
Huff’s first court date is scheduled for Nov. 15.
In the wake of four high-profile, off-the-field incidents since the summer, the two by Bradham, Nelson Agholor’s incident at a South Philadelphia strip club, and now Huff, Pederson did express frustration that his message of personal accountability isn’t always hitting home.
"It's like you're the father of your house, and you just got to keep talking to your siblings and keep talking to your kids and just keep reiterating the importance of who you represent,” Pederson said. "...You’ve got to make smart choices. It's all about choices and consequences in life."
WEDNESDAY INJURY UPDATE
-As expected Allen Barbre did not practice on Wednesday and Pederson continued to list the starting left guard as week-to-week as he recovers from a hamstring injury suffered at
Dallas. It’s unlikely Barbre will play against the Giants and veteran Stefen Wisniewski will likely start in his absence with rookie Isaac Seumalo active as the interior backup.
The other week-to-week players, LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (hamstring) and DT Taylor Hart (ankle), also missed practice Wednesday.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen