Eagles coach Doug Pederson emphasized Friday that all four members of top management – de facto general manager Howie Roseman, Pederson, team president Don Smolenski and chairman Jeffrey Lurie - made the “collective decision” to release returner/receiver Josh Huff Thursday, a day after Pederson said he envisioned Huff playing this week against the Giants.
“Let’s go back and kind of relive the events; I said we were going to get more information, we were going to make a collective decision, and that’s what we did,” Pederson said, when asked why the Thursday action seemed at odds with perceptions arising from his Wednesday news conference. Huff was arrested Tuesday on the Walt Whitman Bridge, carrying a 9 mm handgun and hollow point bullets in the driver’s side door of his car, and in possession of a small amount of marijuana. “You heard Howie’s comments yesterday, and I truly believe that’s the right way to handle this, is to dialogue, have communication, and do the best thing for the Philadelphia Eagles.”
Asked why he never mentioned releasing Huff was a possibility on Wednesday, Pederson said: “I think I mentioned that there were circumstances and there were consequences of those circumstances. That might be leading into (dismissal). Those are the things that y’all have to decipher, but … the decision was not made at that time.”
Pederson, who’d spoken Wednesday about coaches as father figures and the players as his children, said he would “continue to love on Josh and help him any way I can, but at the end of the day there’s a process that needs to be handled … Doing the best thing for the team and the organization.”
Pederson said he spoke with his team leadership council Thursday, after Huff was released. He said his perception was that “they were fine, they were OK,” though the most visible team leader, safety Malcolm Jenkins, told reporters Thursday that he thought Huff’s release was a bigger distraction for the team than the arrest.
“I can’t speak on the feelings of a player,” Pederson said. “I do not” think the decision will cause trouble in the locker room, he said.
Pederson said there were no other problems with Huff that led to the release. He said each case is judged individually, and that the arrest last month of linebacker Nigel Bradham for forgetting he’d stored a gun in his backpack before going through security at Miami International Airport had nothing to do with releasing Huff.
Meanwhile, Pederson said left guard Allen Barbre and special teams linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill will miss Sunday’s game at the Giants with hamstring injuries. He said defensive tackles Bennie Logan (groin) and Taylor Hart (ankle) will be game-time decisions.