Eagles trying to put pieces back together after Garrett Reid's death
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The day after they're still trying to piece it all together. The Eagles held their training camp walkthrough Monday morning at Lehigh University, but two pieces were missing. One, it appears, will only be away for a few days. The other is gone forever.
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The day after they're still trying to piece it all together.
The Eagles held their training camp walkthrough Monday morning at Lehigh University, but two pieces were missing.
One, it appears, will only be away for a few days.
The other is gone forever.
Garrett Reid, son of coach Andy Reid, was found dead in a Lehigh dorm room Sunday morning. Autopsy results are pending, but should be made available within the next 24 hours, according to Lehigh police. There was no indication of suicide or foul play in Reid's death, according to Lehigh chief of police Ed Shupp.
Andy Reid left camp Sunday afternoon to be with his family in their Philadelphia-area home. The Eagles have not said when he will return to the team, although Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and many players said that they expect Reid to be back sometime this week.
"I think that is just Andy," center Jason Kelce said. "We got guys who lose relatives all the time on the team and they're gone for a significant amount of time, and Andy loses a son and he's talking about being back already. That's just goes to show his level of, I guess, manhood, really. That's the best way you can say it. There's no question that it's eating at him inside."
Reid briefly addressed the team around noon Sunday before he departed. He did not show much emotion, according to several players.
"You would assume it affected his emotional status, but he was business as usual as far as the football organization was concerned," Kelce said. "It was very surprising how business-like he still was."
The Eagles have a scheduled off day on Tuesday when funeral services for Garrett Reid will be held. They return to Lehigh on Wednesday for a short practice closed to fans. The team opens its preseason schedule on Thursday at Lincoln Financial Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Reid told the players that he wanted them to continue to practice. Kelce said he had a brief one-on-one conversation with his coach.
"He kind of just told me, 'Keep this thing rolling. Keep everybody on track. We can't use this as a setback right now. If anything, we need to go forward on this,'" Kelce said.
Still, Garrett Reid was in the thoughts of many of the players who had gotten to know Andy Reid's eldest son very well. Garrett Reid assisted the team's strength and conditioning staff and was often present in the weight room.
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said that Reid would often be the one to spot him as he lifted weights.
"He was motivation. He was my 'height' man," Vick said. "He motivated me. He got me in tune and just motivated me to work out as hard as I can, and he was a confidant in doing so."
Many of the players did not find out that Reid had died until they took the fields Sunday morning. Kelce and others said they saw ambulances arrive at the Sayre Park dorms before they left for the practice fields located a few miles away.
"Everybody in the morning saw the ambulances and the medical personnel rushing onto the scene, but nobody really knew who it was for," Kelce said. "As a matter of fact, when I first saw it going into the building C I thought it was one of the coaches."
There were at first whispers that it was Garrett Reid. An "Eagles official" found the 29-year old's body and placed a 911 call, according to Shupp. The official was not Andy Reid, although he was staying in the same building as his son.
"One of the guys said that Garrett was unresponsive and then you start wondering how he's doing," guard Danny Watkins said. "Then you go out on the field and you hear. You're just in disbelief and shock."
Mornhinweg told the players. Wide receiver Jason Avant then led the team in prayer. Kelce said his first thoughts were about Andy Reid and his wife, Tammy, who was on the West coast when she was informed that her son, who had a troubled past, had died.
"She had to find out about that and then fly all the way out here," Kelce said. "I saw the two sons [Britt and Spencer] come in. It was a rough day for them."
Garrett Reid's troubled past included many stints in drug rehabiliation centers to help with his addiction. He was in and out of prison between 2007 and 2009. When he was released he spent much of his time around his father and the Eagles, helping with various chores.
"You thought about Andy right away," Kelce said. "He's always so close to him. He's been holding him under his wing for so long in the organization."
Garrett Reid became passionate about strength and conditioning, the team said. He worked with head strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin, but was studying the craft on his own, according to Kelce. The Reid family said that he had planned to attend school to study sports management.
"Garrett was one of the first guys that I really got to know in the organization last year," Kelce said. "And then during the offseason, since he worked in the weight room, and I was here with my foot broken, a lot of the offseason I spent was hanging out with Garrett. We were pretty close.
"He was happy-go-lucky, always joking around. He was a guy that really wanted to see you get better each and every day."
Many of the players said that they plan to rally around their coach in his time of need. Still, several others said they're still trying to process Garrett Reid's death.
"It still hasn't really hit me yet," safety Colt Anderson said. "It's weird. I'm just trying to put the pieces together -- why did it happened?"