Eagles' Josh Huff asks what pro athlete doesn't have gun

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff has apologized for his actions that got him arrested on the Walt Whitman Bridge, but believes all professional athletes own a gun.

"I'm a professional athlete. What professional athlete don't have a gun? I have a wife and I have a son at home. My job is to protect them at all cost. My job is to protect myself, as well. Even though I know I have security here, I have to protect myself, as well," Huff said.

Huff spoke to reporters Wednesday for the first time since being charged with possessing a 9mm handgun without a permit in New Jersey and for the magazine found with six hollow-point bullets.

He was also charged with a disorderly persons offense for having less than 50 grams of marijuana, police said.

The Eagles' 2014 third-round pick said he has felt his life threatened before and his experiences, especially in Houston, led to him carry a gun.

"I'm from Houston. You can't trust a lot of people in Houston, there's always somebody out to get you. You got to protect yourself. Even back in Houston, I always had a gun on me. There have been several instances in Houston. I have lost a friend to gun violence. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, so why would I let that happen to me?" Huff said.

Huff's gun is registered in Texas. It's recognized in Pennsylvania, but not New Jersey, which has notoriously strict gun laws.

Huff was stopped on the New Jersey side of the bridge.
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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff has apologized for his actions that got him arrested on the Walt Whitman Bridge, but believes all professional athletes own a gun.

"I knew about the New Jersey laws, but I didn't know a lot about them. I didn't know enough about them, clearly," Huff said.

He, however, would not reveal too much about why he possessed the hollow-point bullets.

"I can't get into that. It's protection. Point blank, period," Huff said.

Huff said he was speeding because he was trying to get home to his pregnant wife.

The NFL star said he apologized to his coach and teammates for being a distraction. He said he made a terrible decision and needs to rebrand his image by giving his all to his teammates.

"My message to them was I apologize for being a distraction to them, especially right now. We don't need it. We all got one common goal and that is to win the division first and make it to the playoffs," Huff said.

Huff said he never brought the gun into the NovaCare complex where the Eagles practice.

"I'm not Gilbert Arenas. I'm not going to bring a gun on the premises. I'm not going to bring a gun and put my life, my teammates in jeopardy, that's not me. It's solely for protection," Huff said.

Not only did Huff have an apology to his teammates, he also had a message to his young fans.

"To the young guys out there, I apologize sincerely about my actions yesterday. That's not who I am and I hope you guys don't take it that way. I will do better to fix this and learn from it," Huff said.

Earlier in the day, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Huff is still scheduled to play on Sunday when the team faces the New York Giants.

Pederson said there won't be any repercussions until they know more about the investigation and what happened. As of now, he said, it's a legal matter.

"I want to see exactly what happened, talk to some people. It's outside of the building, sometimes these situations are out of our control," Pederson said. "Until I find out exactly the severity of it and what's going to happen down the road, right now nothing [changes.]"

Pederson fielded questions from reporters during a Wednesday morning press conference. Most questions dealt with the arrest of Huff.

"Obviously, disappointed. It's not what you want on a player day-off to see happen. He and I spoke about it privately. It's one of the things I talk about all the time with players, you just try to eliminate distractions, take care of your business outside of the building. He understands. It's out of our hands at this point and we just have to see where it goes," Pederson said.
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Doug Pederson says he is disappointed.

Pederson said Huff was very dejected, disappointed and apologetic during their conversation, telling Pederson it wouldn't happen again.

Huff did not go into too much detail about the conversation during his question and answer session.

"It went well. We discussed what happened. That's all I can say right now," Huff said.

The Eagles coach described his job as a father figure at times to his players, one who wants to help them make the right decisions in life.

"It's all about choices and consequences in life. If you make bad choices, you have to suffer the consequences," Pederson said.

Pederson made it clear he wants to instill more than trick plays and rushing yards into his players.

"I want to make sure I'm doing right by these players and they're doing right by themselves." Pederson said.

Huff said he let a lot of his teammates down, guys who believe in him and are like a family away from home. He says he's trying to fix it.

"Just by being Josh Huff. I can't let this define me and it won't define me. I'm going to grow from this and I will learn from it," Huff said.

Both Pederson and Huff answered all the reporters' questions, but wanted to make sure their focus was on Sunday.

"Do we play the Giants this week, by the way? Just wondering," Pederson said.

"My actions come with consequences. I understand that. All I can do is take it a day at a time right now. That's what I'm doing, that's what I'm focused on. My focus is on the Giants," Huff said.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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