DA Confirms Garrett Reid Possessed Steroids

District Attorney John Morganelli confirmed today that Garrett Reid, son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, was in possession of steroids when he died on Aug. 5.

The Express-Times first reported the news, citing sources on Monday morning before Morganelli’s news conference.

Here are Tweets from Jason Nark of the Daily News, who covered the news conference:

 

 

 

 

A coroner said in October that Garrett Reid died of a heroin overdose. He was found in a dorm room at Lehigh University during Eagles training camp.

Morganelli said in October that investigators found 47 syringes and 65 needles in Garrett Reid’s gym bag, along with 19 vials of an unknown liquid.

Garrett Reid had been helping with the Eagles’ strength and conditioning department during training camp.

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Saying Goodbye To Lehigh

Talking to a colleague prior to the start of training camp, I noted how peaceful things would be this year up at Lehigh compared to last season. All the players were signed, everyone was happy and it would be all about football. No free-agent blitz, no holdouts, no sideshows.

I was quickly reminded (by a man obviously much wiser than I) that the moment all seems calm is precisely the moment when hell breaks loose. And he was right. Hell did break loose in a way we could have never imagined.

This training camp will always be known as the one where Garrett Reid was found dead in the Sayre Park dormitories.  It is fact, it is permanent, and it will be forever woven into the fabric of the 2012 season.  For the last week-plus we have been witness to  a very public tragedy in a very unique setting. Ninety men, most younger than the 29-year-old Garrett Reid, trying to hold it together to lead their leader.

We saw Andy Reid at his most vulnerable. Stood confounded as he returned to the practice fields less than 24 hours after burying his son. Witnessed a brief bridging of the coach/media divide, then watched as everyone began assuming their regular positions.

The events were heartbreaking, the response uplifting. And slowly, back to football. But never back to normal.

The Eagles’ 2012 Training Camp is coming to a close. Thank God.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Nnamdi Asomugha is not showing any symptoms of a concussion  after a mid-air collision with Nate Allen Monday. Asomugha stayed on the ground for several minutes before being assisted to the cart and taken inside. He has a lacerated lip and a sore neck.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is under the microscope a bit following his hit on Byron Leftwich Thursday night. Peter King thinks it could land him a six-figure fine. Rodgers-Cromartie believes it was a clean hit. When asked if he regretted the decision, DRC threw out this gem.

“Regrets? We’re playing football, man,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “The Bible said don’t live a life of regret.”

Sheil highlights Fletcher Cox in his practice observations. No Derek Landri fights featured in that edition, but the defensive tackle is certainly earning the reputation as a camp bully.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Reuben Frank over at CSN Philly caught up with Michael Vick on the quarterback’s three-year anniversary of being signed by the Eagles.

“My first day, first practice — it all felt weird,” he said. “I’d much rather would have been in a different position at the time, not being a No. 3, but I accepted it for what it was, and that was a time when I really had to grow up and understand my position and play it to the best of my ability. But the one thing I can tell you is that I was very thankful and never was unhappy about my position or felt any [disappointment].”

Pro Football Talk has a little fun at the expense of Tra Thomas upon the announcement that the former tackle will retire as a member of the Eagles…two years after his actual retirement.

It’s a nice gesture for a quality player, even if it’s been a few hundred  moons since he last stepped on the field.

 “Tra Thomas is one of the best offensive linemen to ever put on an Eagles uniform,” said Jeffrey Lurie. “He was an anchor at the left tackle position for many years and played such an integral role in our success, though he probably never got all the credit he deserved. Besides being such a great player, Tra is an even better person and someone I’ve always had a great relationship with. I’m proud of what he has done with his career after football as he has remained very successful while keeping his home in this area. We are very happy that he is retiring as an Eagle.”

ESPN NFC East blogger Dan Graziano has a piece up on DeMeco Ryans. One topic that is explored is the adjustment to playing behind the Wide 9.

“When you’re in the Wide, sometimes you can get an offensive lineman up on you quicker, versus the 3-4 under front we played in Houston,” Ryans said. “Sometimes the 4-3, with the guys being wide, the tight ends will have free releases up the field. So you have to be cognizant of those guys getting up on you a lot faster than they would if the end was in tight.”

COMING UP

Tuesday is the final day of training camp. It is also Fan Appreciation Day. Reid will talk after the 8:15 morning walkthrough. Afternoon practice is 2:45. Once that’s a wrap, the Lehigh 500 is on.

 

 

 

Reid: ‘One More Step Forward’

Garrett ReidAndy Reid made his way quietly onto the sideline as the player introductions boomed behind him. He paced up and down, up and down, all in black with the red flag sticking out of his back pocket. One of the security guards gave him an affectionate pat on the shoulder. Then an assistant wrapped him in a hug. Duce Staley made it a point to make his way over and give a fist pound. Up and down, up and down, fist pound, hug, fist-pound.

The pacing stopped and the hat came off as the P.A. announcer asked for a moment of silence to honor Garrett Reid. The picture of Garrett on the beach at his brother’s wedding – the one used on the funeral program – popped up on the big screen. When the moment was over, the fans began a polite standing clap that grew in strength but never made its way to a cheer. Cheering did not fit the mood.

“I got a little choked up when we had a moment of silence,” said Kurt Coleman. “You try to stay on football, football, football, and it keeps putting things in perspective. But he was looking out for us today, smiling down and having a good laugh, keeping us on our toes the whole time. I miss him every day and I’m glad we could get this win.”

Before the game several members of the Steelers organization, including Dan and Art Rooney and Mike Tomlin, came to the Eagles locker room to offer Reid their condolences. It was a big gesture, but not the biggest of the night.

With about four minutes remaining in the first quarter, a message from the Reids appeared on the Jumbotron thanking the fans for their support. This time a cheer was in order, followed by chants of simply, “Andy! Andy!”

“I did [hear them],” said Reid. “I take that as a compliment to my son and my family. That’s a humbling thing. I appreciate every bit of it. We feel the love. And during these kind of times that’s important.”

The irony was not lost on some players in the Eagles locker room that those “Andy” chants last season had a “Fire!” before it.

“Even though there are some fans that after last year wanted his head, I think at the end of the day the guy has been here for 14 years and he’s worked his tail off to make this team as successful as it can be,” said Jason Kelce. “I think the fans still respect him. I think when something happens like that to someone you have respect for, I think it eats at anybody.”

The postgame press conference was odd as you might expect: one question to take  Reid’s emotional temperature, the next to ask about the punters. (His wife, Tammy, sat in on the proceedings as she normally does, wearing a green Eagles jersey with “Reid” sewn into it.) But it was progress. The day before it was all about Garrett’s death. Now there was football mixed in. Pretty soon, that’s where the majority of the questions will go.

“Every day you want it to be a better day,” said Reid. “We’ve got a lot of support. But that doesn’t erase what took place. It doesn’t do that. But life goes on and that’s how things work. This is one more step forward, and we’ll try to take one more step forward tomorrow.”

10 Things To Watch: Eagles vs. Steelers

Philadelphia Eagles undrafted free agent Damaris Johnson.Football in Philadelphia makes its long-awaited return tonight as the Eagles host the Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast locally on 6-ABC.

Tim and I will be there, and we’ll be hosting a live chat right here, so be sure to join us.

Meanwhile, here’s a cheat-sheet for you: 10 things to keep an eye on this evening.

1. Andy Reid – It’s been the toughest week of the coach’s career. As recently as last week, talk in this town centered around whether Reid would be coaching for his job in 2012. Since his son, Garrett, died Sunday morning, Reid and his family have been overwhelmed by support from the fans, the league and others.

I’ve noticed it too – talk-show callers, online commenters and so on. Those who are usually Reid’s harshest critics are now squarely in his corner. Eagles fans have had ups and downs with the coach over the last 13 years, but it’s clear that those in attendance at the Linc are going to do whatever they can tonight to support him. It should be a special moment when Reid first walks onto the field, or when his face is first shown on the big screen.

2. The return game – The Eagles got nothing from their punt and kickoff return units last year, as DeSean Jackson and Dion Lewis struggled to make things happen. To start the preseason, Damaris Johnson and Brandon Boykin will get a chance to lock down the punt and kickoff return jobs, respectively. Johnson, an undrafted free agent out of Tulsa, has a real shot to make the team with a strong preseason. Boykin will make the team regardless, but the Eagles want to see him stand out on kickoff returns. Remember, returns are difficult to simulate in practice without live hitting on special teams, so the preseason really is important here.

3. Bryce Brown/Chris Polk – I’d be surprised if Dion Lewis didn’t start the season as LeSean McCoy’s backup, but there’s still room for competition. After a stellar high school career, Brown ran into issues at both Tennessee and Kansas State. Consider this: Brown has carried the ball just three times in game action since November 28, 2009. That’s a span of nearly three years. There’s no doubt that the seventh-round pick is anxious to show what he can do, and he told me last week he’s on every special-teams unit right now, trying to find some way to make the team.

Polk, meanwhile, has started to come on. He had a 50-yard run last week and looks comfortable as a blocker and a receiver. There’s a small chance that both Brown and Polk make the team, but more likely, they are fighting for one roster spot.

4. Brandon Graham – The former first-round pick said he’s tired of talking and ready to show what he can do. He’s had a solid training camp, and with Trent Cole and Jason Babin sidelined, Graham will get plenty of reps early on vs. the Steelers. He had three sacks and 13 hurries as a rookie, but battled injuries (and his weight) last season. Graham won’t really prove anything until the real games begin, but tonight is another step in the process.

5. Boykin vs. Hanson – The Eagles know what they have in Joselio Hanson , a player who’s been with the team since 2006. They need to find out if Boykin can wrestle the nickel corner spot away from the veteran. If he can, Hanson will likely be cut. If he can’t, the Eagles will have to keep both corners and make a cut somewhere else. Boykin has looked good at Lehigh, but will need to prove himself in game action in the coming weeks.

6. McBriar vs. Henry – I realize a punter battle isn’t going to get anyone out of their seat, but the Eagles have plenty of room for improvement on special teams. Chas Henry was unimpressive as a rookie, and if Mat McBriar is healthy, he’s the favorite to win this job. On the Eagles’ official depth chart, McBriar iss listed as the No. 1 punter.

7. Demetress Bell – Filling in for Jason Peters will be no easy task. He’s certainly shown athleticism at training camp, but Howard Mudd needs to be comfortable with him by the time Week 1 rolls around. This will be Bell’s first game action. Pay special attention to running plays designed to go to the left side. The Eagles might even try a screen or two to that side to test his athleticism.

8. DeMeco Ryans - For the first part of training camp, he pretty much blended in with the group. But in recent practices, he’s started to show glimpses of the player the Eagles described when they acquired him from the Texans in the offseason. At Lehigh, Ryans has stayed on the field in nickel situations. Keep an eye on how he looks in coverage.

9. Jaiquawn Jarrett – Nate Allen won’t play, meaning Jarrett will get plenty of chances to show that he’s improved this offseason. The 2011 second-round pick  has had a few stand-out moments at training camp, but still needs to show that he’s not a liability in coverage. Oshiomogho Atogwe, who is more of a free safety, could mix in alongside Kurt Coleman as well.

10. Danny Watkins – He’s been a bit of a forgotten man this summer. Optimists point out that the Eagles’ offensive line could be better in 2012, even without Peters. The thinking is that second-year players Jason Kelce and Watkins will improve, and Todd Herremans, who was plugged in at right tackle just before the 2011 season started, will benefit from having played there for a full year. The spotlight for me is on Watkins. He played hesitant for much of his rookie year, and while Watkins had good moments as a run blocker, he struggled in pass protection. The Eagles need the former first-round pick to live up to expectations.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

Eagles Wake-Up Call: DeSean Honored To Play For Reid

While Andy Reid was addressing the media Wednesday morning, answering questions about how he was dealing with the death of his son, DeSean Jackson was walking out to his car.

The Eagles’ walk-through was over, and players were looking to get out of Bethlehem and enjoy some free time before their preseason opener against the Steelers at the Linc.

But first, Jackson stopped and took questions about Reid’s return.

“It’s actually an honor to have him back,” he said. “The circumstances and the funeral yesterday — no quicker than 24 hours, he’s right back on the field with us. It shows us how important he is and how much he cares about this football team. We just want to uplift his spirits and make him feel in a comfort zone so he doesn’t have to really worry about too many things. It’s really an honor to have him as our head coach. He’s really a great guy, so whatever it is we have to do to keep him up in spirits and keep him going, that’s what we’re here for.”

Perhaps Jackson, more-so than any other player on the current roster, illustrates the fine line Reid has been able to walk over the years, between support and discipline. The coach-player relationship was tested last year when Jackson let contract distractions affect his on-field play. In the second half against the Patriots, Reid benched the wide receiver. And after Jackson violated team rules, Reid told him not to show up against the Cardinals.

But the bond that was formed when Reid and the Eagles drafted Jackson back in 2008 has endured. By all accounts, Jackson’s new offseason deal was helped along in large part by Reid, who wanted the speedy playmaker back.

As Jackson acknowledged, it’s now his turn to be in his coach’s corner and help Reid in whatever way possible during the coming weeks and months.

WHAT YOU MISSED

When Reid addressed the media, he said the tragic events of this week have humbled him. Tim did a nice job of capturing the scene and reporting the details.

Michael Vick said the Eagles will dedicate their season to Garrett.

McManus and I are going head-to-head with our 53-man roster projections. I went first with my projections right here. Even though his will be comparatively worthless, Tim will post his later today.

And finally, an extended roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles. One writer has heard whispers that the Eagles are concerned about Jackson.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Asante Samuel is still talking. Paul Domowitch of the Daily News caught up with him this week.

“They had me out there swinging like a rag doll,” Samuel said. “[They were saying], ‘Hey, we got Asante Samuel for sale. I feel like they devalued me. But it is what it is.”

And this:

“When they first traded for DRC, I got a call from upstairs and everybody was excited,” he said. “They said, ‘We got DRC. You and him are going to be great together.’ Then, no sooner did they hang up then I got another call telling me they had signed Nnamdi and that people were calling and wanting to trade for me.

“First they told me I wasn’t up for trade; that those were just rumors and this and that. At the end of the day, it was all a lie. They did have a trade [in October] on the table, but it broke down at the last minute.

There’s more too. Click here for the full column.

Meanwhile, Bovada released updated Super Bowl odds yesterday. The Eagles are 12/1. Only the Packers (6/1), Patriots (13/2) and 49ers (10/1) are ahead of them. The Texans are also 12/1.

If you’re wondering about the rest of the NFC East, the Giants and Cowboys are both 18/1. And the Redskins are 60/1.

COMING UP

Football? Yes please. The Eagles open the preseason at the Linc against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kickoff is set for 7:30, and the game will be broadcast locally on 6ABC.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean JacksonHere’s this week’s roundup of national media coverage on the Eagles:

SI.com’s Peter King writes that even the Detroit Lions paid their respects to Garrett Reid:

I think this is how well-liked and respected Andy Reid is around the NFL. In Detroit, not a team Reid has particularly close ties to, the Lions had a Sunday evening practice, open to the public, at Ford Field. Before the workout, the Lions had a moment of silence for Garrett Reid, and showed his picture on the stadium video board. Classy.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin started off his media session Monday by offering condolences to Andy Reid and his family:

“I will start out today by acknowledging the fact that yesterday was a very sad day for all of us in the NFL family,” a somber Coughlin said. “Our condolences, our deepest sympathies, go out to Andy and (his wife) Tammy Reid and their family at the terrible, terrible loss of their son.”

Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said he contacted Reid to offer his condolences, according to The Washington Post.

Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com offers his take on the tragedy:

There is another duality all coaches at this level must navigate, a prickly balance between work and home, knowing the insane hours and round-the-clock culture of the NFL will force them to miss family events. They won’t see their children grow up the way other Dads do, and must make peace with that. More to the point, the moms and children must somehow do the same.

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal was impressed with how Reid handled this morning’s press conference:

Strength was the word that came to mind watching Reid. It was hard to watch him and not come away feeling empathy, feeling like I learned a lot about the man just by watching how he handled a news conference when there are no right answers.

Meanwhile, sources tell ESPNCleveland.com that the league is reviewing a failed drug test by Browns cornerback Joe Haden, which could result in a four-game suspension. Remember, the Eagles play the Browns in Week 1.

One source said that Haden tested positive for the prescription drug Adderall during a routine, off-season test administered in accordance with the NFL’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.

Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com provides his Eagles season preview:

This is what you hear from sources inside the Eagles organization: Michael Vick has been working harder than he ever has before. You hear his grasp of the offense is 100 percent. He’s studied non-stop, worked out non-stop, and has reached a point where some with the Eagles believe he will have his best season ever.

This is what you hear around the league about DeSean Jackson: If there was any player who might take a major step backward this season, it’s him. There are concerns that he isn’t working non-stop and that he doesn’t care as much.

Not sure how I missed this, but former Eagles linebacker Stewart Bradley broke out the Carlton dance during Sunday night’s preseason game.

NFL.com’s Rosenthal has defensive power rankings up. The Eagles are in his Next Level category:

Philadelphia’s talent remains elite. Their continuity should serve them well in year two under defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.

Brandon Boykin is one of 10 unheralded rookies to watch, according to SI.com’s Chris Burke:

Boykin looked like a steal in April and nothing has happened to change that since. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha have Philly’s top two corner spots locked down, but Boykin has a shot to inherit the nickel spot. He also figures to return kicks, something he did with great success at Georgia.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

Andy Reid: ‘I’m a Humble Man Standing Before You’

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy ReidA scene that none of us could have imagined, in the fourth day of a week none of us were prepared for.  Andy Reid stepping out of his black SUV and back onto the practice field, almost exactly 24 hours after the funeral services for his son, Garrett, began.

After a quiet and surreal walkthrough that lasted about a half-hour, Reid made his way over to the media tent and took to the podium.

“I’m a humble man standing before you. A very humble man,” he said. “I’m humble because of the outpouring, not only from the media but from our football team, from the fans, it was unbelievable. I’m not sure you ever think that many people care – not that you go in that direction – but it’s a very humbling feeling. And I know my son would feel the same way.”

Some 900 people showed up for Garrett’s service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Broomall Tuesday. The representation from around the league was extraordinarily strong, and clearly impacted Reid in a profound way.

Jeffrey Lurie reiterated after the service that Reid planned on returning to the sidelines this week. Word came down Wednesday morning that he would be at the team’s practice later that day. Almost no time has passed. It is not easy for everyone to understand why he would return so soon.

“I’m a football coach; that’s what I do,” said Reid. “And I know my son wouldn’t want it any other way. I can’t put it any more frank than that; he loved the Philadelphia Eagles.”

How, Reid was asked, did he know that it was time to come back?

“My heart,” he replied. “I just felt it in my heart.”

Players began walking out onto the field around 10:45 and gathered at the corner of the end zone. At 10:57, the SUV that pulls up front every day, year after year– the one that was missing Sunday morning – came to a stop in its normal spot. Reid got out wearing his usual gear – black shorts, black shirt, white hat – and walked towards his group. After a short pause, he huddled the team up for a beat before the horn sounded and practice began. He addressed them earlier that morning as well, the second time he brought them together since Garrett’s passing. The first came just hours after learning the news.

“I always tell the players there are four things you go about in life, in how you approach it: One is you eliminate distractions, the other is create energy, you fear nothing and you attack everything. That’s how you go about life,” said Reid.

Tragedy blends with football. What will it all mean? Where to from here?

“I felt a strength with our team yesterday. I don’t look at it from a team standpoint, I look at it from an individual standpoint,” he said. “Individuals build themselves and come together, but you have to be OK with yourself first. I think that closure with that was very important, to see Garrett at peace, be able to talk through it with one another.

“It’s not one experience that makes up a team, it’s many experiences that bring a team together. If this can be a small thing that helps them get to know each other better, that’s a positive.”

With that, Reid exited the tent and worked his way back to the truck. The media briskly formed an informal line to shake the hand of Andy Reid, who offered us each a “Thank you” and a pat on the back before riding off.

Vick: Season Dedicated To Garrett

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael VickMichael Vick admits he was somewhat surprised.

Three days after Andy Reid found out his son had died, and 24 hours after laying him to rest, the Eagles head coach was back on the practice fields at Lehigh.

“I was a bit surprised, but everybody is entitled to what they want to do, and how they feel,” Vick said. “We don’t know what he’s feeling or his means of dealing with certain things. Everybody deals with situations differently.”

And really, that was all that needed to be said.

Vick saw the same Reid this morning that he was used to. The same guy who took a chance on him in the summer of 2009 after he got out of prison. And the same guy who named him the starting quarterback in September 2010.

“It was great to have coach back,” he said. “We’ve been looking forward to getting him back. We wanted him to take as much time as he needed, but his presence is warmly felt today.

“He’s back with his extended family, his football family. Coach knows that we love him as a man first and as a coach second.”

As practice started, Reid gathered the team and took about one minute delivering instructions. But according to Vick, his message was simple: stay focused, and get ready for the first preseason game against the Steelers Thursday night. Reid’s words were all about what the team needs to concentrate on at this moment, and Vick expects that to be the message going forward.

“Our entire season will be dedicated to Garrett,” Vick said. “And I’m personally dedicating my season to coach and to my teammates. This season will be dedicated to Garrett starting tomorrow.”

Vick wasn’t talking about anything official like a patch or a decal. He was simply expressing how he feels about his coach, the Reid family and the upcoming season, his 10th in the NFL.

“Just to continue to encourage him to stay strong,” Vick said, when asked what he can do to help his coach. “I know what it’s like to lose a family member. I know I’ve reiterated to him on numerous occasions how much I love him.”

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

Reid Will Return Today

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy ReidAndy Reid will attend the team’s walk-through this morning at 11 a.m., the team announced.

Reid will be available to meet with reporters afterwards.

On Sunday, his oldest son, Garrett Reid, was found dead at the age of 29 in a Lehigh University dorm. Eagles players and coaches were told about the news before practicing Sunday morning. They held their regularly-scheduled afternoon practice that afternoon. And the team practiced again on Monday without Reid.

Funeral services for Garrett Reid took place Tuesday, the team’s regularly-scheduled day off.

Today’s walk-through is closed to the fans.

The Eagles host the Steelers in their first preseason game Thursday night.

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Reviewing The Kevin Kolb Trade

Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin

I’d say the Eagles won this one.

Opinions varied when Howie Roseman and Andy Reid decided to trade away Kevin Kolb – once the heir apparent – to the Cardinals prior to the start of last season. Is Michael Vick definitely the answer? And what happens if Vick goes down?

OK, both were legitimate questions, and without the Kolb trade there is no “Dream Team.”

In terms of value, though, this was a slam dunk. While Arizona was tying their future to Kolb to the tune of five years and $63 million, the Eagles received a starting cornerback in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the 51st overall pick in this past draft. They traded that pick to Green Bay for the 59th and 123rd picks, which they used to select Vinny Curry and Brandon Boykin. Curry is a promising defensive end and Boykin is currently atop the depth chart at kick returner and pushing Joselio Hanson to be the nickel corner.

That’s a good haul for a QB that is having trouble separating himself  from John Skelton.

Kolb got knocked out of the Cardinals preseason opener with bruised ribs. He’s going to give it a go against the Chiefs this week. It’s been a bumpy road for Kolb so far. Meanwhile, the Eagles defense has been strengthened by the deal.

WHAT YOU MISSED

About 900 people gathered for Garrett Reid’s funeral in Broomall Tuesday morning.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, Bill Belichick, Donovan McNabb, Mike Holmgren, the entire Eagles roster and more gathered to pay their respects.  It was further evidence that Andy Reid is an extremely respected man in the NFL community.

Holmgren called Reid the son he never had. And he shared some of his memories on Garrett, who he knew for basically his entire life. His remembrances were both heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time.

“He was a little rambunctious guy when I first met him. He had a great personality. That family – they were pretty active, now,” said Holmgren, sounding very much like Reid, his pupil. “I remember going over to dinner when I was recruiting and Andy was at San Francisco State, and we’d sit around the table, and as soon as the blessing was over the food, it was like Star Wars. It was a lot of fun. My thoughts and prayers are with the family now.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks ran routes for the first time since breaking his foot this spring. He plans to be ready for the opener against the Cowboys.

“Definitely. Definitely still on target,” he said. “No setbacks. Everything’s been going good. I’ve been running every day, no setbacks, feeling good. Getting better.”

The NFL is joining the NCAA, Major League Baseball, the NHL and NBA in a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey in an attempt to thwart the state’s plan to allow sports betting.

“The sponsorship, operation, advertising, promotion, licensure and authorization of sports gambling in New Jersey,” the lawsuit states, “would irreparably harm amateur and professional sports by fostering suspicion that individual plays and final scores of games may have been influenced by factors other than honest athletic competition.”

Governor Chris Christie signed a law in January to allow sports betting in 12 casinos, four racetracks and on the site of a closed racetrack. The regulations are expected to become effective over the next couple months.

COMING UP

There is an 11 o’clock mock game (closed to fans) in preparation for Thursday’s preseason opener against the Steelers. Will Reid be in attendance?

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