Players Provide Details On Garrett Reid, and the Day He Died

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason KelcePlayers shared their first-hand perspectives of the heart-wrenching events that unfolded at Lehigh University on Sunday, providing details about Garrett Reid the man, and the day that he died.

Jason Kelce said they could see the ambulances rushing to Sayre Park dormitories Sunday morning – the first sign for them that something was wrong.

“When I first saw it going to Building C I thought it was one of the coaches, but then we found out it was Garrett,” said Kelce.“When they first told me he had passed I didn’t think it was real. You kind of get that feeling like, this guy’s been misinformed; that can’t be right.”

The team was informed in the locker room just prior to the 8:15 morning walkthrough. Jason Avant then led a prayer out on the field before the start of practice.

“It was a prayer to help us because everything was new to us,” said Kurt Coleman. “We had just heard about it. Just to have God watch over him, watch over us as we go through this time, and give us the strength to really push on and understand that we have a job to do right now.”

As players tried to collect themselves, Todd Herremans is being credited with taking charge. In Reid’s absence, the veteran offensive lineman went around to ensure that his teammates were staying sharp.

That was a particularly noble gesture, given that Herremans was one of the closest on the team to Garrett.

Even more astounding is that Andy Reid decided to address his entire team Sunday, the day his oldest son had died.

“I already had mountains of respect for Andy and his family, but just coming in and addressing the team, feeling he had to, I can’t even describe how much I respect the man as a strong individual,” said Herremans.

The message, according to Coleman: “That he feels that he needs to be with his family in this time of need but also wants to be with the football family, because he loves us.”

Each athlete had their own personal experiences from the day. Some fielded question after question. Some were unable to speak.

Kelce revealed that Tammy Reid, Andy’s wife and Garrett’s mother, was on the West Coast when the news came down.

“She had to find out that and then fly all the way out here,” said Kelce. “I saw the two sons come in and everything. It was a rough day for them. But Andy, in typical fashion, handled it the way you would expect him to handle it.”

The descriptions of Garrett were not of a man that appeared to be in a perilous situation, but rather of an affable guy that had found his calling in strength and conditioning, and who seemed to really be enjoying his time around the team.

“Since he worked in the weight room and I was here with my foot broken, a lot of the season I spent was hanging out with Garrett. We were pretty close. He was a happy-go-lucky, always joking around,” said Kelce.

“He was putting a lot of work in, he was reading a lot and doing a lot of research in the strength and conditioning aspect of football. I think it was his goal to one day be in that area as a head guy. He was good, he knew a  lot of stuff…He was doing research on new philosophies and things like that all the time.”

“I knew Garrett well,” added Herremans. “I’ve known him for about eight years. He was a fun-loving person that was always smiling and laughing. He would go out of his way to come over and talk to you. He was a good dude.”

Garrett’s struggles in his life are well-documented. It was something that he opened up about to some in the Eagles family.

“We talked about it on a personal level, man to man about what he had been through,” said Herremans. “He had been through a lot. It’s just sad – everything that just happened is just sad.”

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  • Scott J

    Why do players always talk about how important their families are and how they should always be a priority over football – but then a tragedy like this happens and football seems to be more important. Practice should have been canceled out of respect for Garret and to help the players grieve. As we’ve learned from the Penn State scandal, football takes priority over everything. Sad.

    • Patrick

      You are wrong to compare this to the PSU scandal, that’s just ridiculous. I assume Garret and his father wanted practice to go on. Sometimes working helps you get through these thing.

    • Run Eagles Run

      If the boss’ son at a big company died, would they cancel work? No. It seems they would have canceled, but Reid insisted it go on. Reid knew how important it was. I’m sure a lot of those players appreciated the distraction, but I assure you it was on their minds as soon as they stepped off the field. The only thing sad, is how someone could draw comparisons between this situation and penn st. Sad.

    • Scott J is a moron

      Who is this moron, Scott J?

  • Taña Catalano

    good article. Very touching. Make me even more proud to cheer this team on!

  • PaoliBulldog

    I hope the Eagles insist that Coach Reid take time off. From what I’ve read of him, he will probably try to grind his way through this situation and get back to work right away. The Eagles shouldn’t do that. The Eagles’ coaching staff and roster have plenty of experience; they can handle training camp just fine while Reid grieves with his family. Losing a child is unlike almost any other experience; while Coach Reid will probably say he’s ready to get right back work, he really doesn’t know what the next several days and weeks are going to be like. He needs time to recover privately.

  • knighn

    People grieve in different ways. Time away from a normal routine is NOT always the best for all people. In fact, sometimes it can be the worst thing. But that’s just my own opinion from my own personal experience.

  • Michael Jorden

    Working through that kind of grief can sometimes be the only way you survive it in the short term. That’s how it was with me. You come to terms with it eventually – there isn’t any choice in that. So what’s the harm in getting back to work to try and preserve your own sanity?