Pederson should take a leaf out of Belichick’s ‘zero-tolerance’ book

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Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson is set to meet the media later today and will no doubt be bombarded with questions surrounding the Josh Huff arrest. Huff isn’t the first player to be arrested in Pederson’s tenure as Head Coach of the Eagles..but Pederson needs to do everything he can to ensure he’s the last.

The Eagles receiver was pulled over on the Walt Whitman Bridge for speeding and was later found to have been in possession of a Gun, marijuana and six hollow-point bullets. His bail has been set at $25,000 and it remains unclear whether he will be at practice this week, although it is expected.

Be it criminal activity or not, Doug Pederson has been bombarded with off-the-field controversies this season. From Sam Bradford’s reaction to the drafting of Carson Wentz, to Lane Johnson’s second PED violation and Nigel Bradham’s pair of arrests, Pederson has had a lot to deal with..and although on the surface he’s dealt with them well, he simply has to put his foot down.

Nigel Bradham was seemingly benched in the opening quarter following his second arrest, a decision that cost the Eagles dearly early on. Bradham returned to the field and the contrast in Defensive efficiency was astounding..but to this day, both Schwartz and Pederson deny that the Airport incident had anything to do with his snaps on the field.

Expressing disappointment to the media is one thing, dealing with it away from the spotlight is another. Nobody is expecting Pederson to cut Josh Huff instantly, especially considering how much pressure is on the receiving corps, but there has to be a point where the off-the-field controversies and “dumb ass things” as Jim Schwartz would put it, get too much.

A look over to Boston would likely set a good example. The Patriots show a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to off-the-field issues and aren’t afraid to let players go if their actions away from the football field will affect the locker room.

Running back Montee Ball was released just four days after being arrested for Domestic Violence, wide receiver J.J Worton was released following his arrest, as was linebacker Brandon Spikes.

Perhaps the most surprising cut, was cornerback Alfonzo Dennard. Despite losing two starting cornerbacks, the Patriots weren’t afraid to cut ties with the former seventh-round pick who had previously served jail time.

Belichick is a special breed of Head Coach and one that has a tenacious mentality that shows in his players..but as a “players Head Coach” and someone that was signed to connect emotionally with his players, Pederson has to hold his team accountable for their actions off-the-field, especially if they impact the team.

The Eagles are slowly but surely gaining a strange reputation. The leash is long and the controversies keep adding up..at some point, enough is enough and Pederson needs to come down hard on those who step out of line.

Cutting players may seem excessive, but there are measures that can be taken to ensure that everyone in the locker room knows that away from the football field, they represent the team just as much as they do when they’re on it.

 

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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