NFL Family Comes Up Big For Reids

Chris Berman exited the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Broomall Tuesday alone, with his head respectfully down, sunglasses on, and hands in his pockets.

Steve Mariucci and Mike Mayock left side-by-side. Ditto Brent Celek and Todd Herremans, friends and teammates that always find their way next to one another in social settings. Slowly the estimated 900 people here to honor the late Garrett Reid, and the Reid family, trickled out.

Howie Roseman and Mike Holmgren stood just outside the side entrance as NFL luminaries of all kind passed below them. The league had a massive presence, from commissioner Roger Goodell to Mickey Loomis to Bill Belichick. Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook were there, along with every single member of the current Eagles team.

On another day you would call it a power summit. On this day, it was simply a collection of men and women grieving over the loss of one of their own. Holmgren eventually made it over to the gathering of media, the emotion of the moment covering every movement and syllable.

“Andy was the first guy I ever hired when I became a head coach, and we go back to when he was my [graduate assistant] when I was coaching at BYU; we’ve been close friends ever since,” said Holmgren. “I always say he was the son I never had.”

Holmgren essentially knew Garrett his whole life. His daughter even baby-sat him.

“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.”

This is not the church that the Reids belong to, but it’s the largest one in the area and the best-equipped to handle the turnout. People were sat in the chapel and gymnasium and smaller rooms. There were closed-circuit televisions set up for the crowd, which started arriving around 9 a.m. for the 10 o’clock service (They were able to finally start just after 11.).

Some 30 missionaries donated their time to help make the process as smooth as possible. Garrett died on Sunday morning and somehow all of this – the transportation, the police assistance, the ceremony, the media accommodations – were perfectly pulled together.

Andy headed the receiving line, accompanying his wife Tammy, sons Britt and Spencer, daughters Crosby and Drew Ann. “He was  comforting us,” said John Harbaugh, Ravens head coach and former Eagles assistant under Reid.. “He wrapped me up in a big bear hug, and he told me everything was going to be alright. That’s the Andy I know.”

Several in attendance noted Crosby’s singing of Garrett’s favorite church song, My Heavenly Father Loves Me, as one of the most touching moments of the day.

“It was a wonderful ceremony, a wonderful celebration of Garrett’s life,” said Harbaugh. “He was a special young man and he will be very much missed.”

Jeffrey Lurie stated after the service that Andy still plans to coach against the Steelers on Thursday night. It was plain to see from Tuesday’s turnout that if that is what he chooses to do, he will be amongst family.

“The team loves this man, Andy,” said Lurie, beginning to break up. “It’s hard to explain. As a coach and a human, he is fully involved. He is one of these people that shares his life and his love and his passion for the football team and the extended family, and it is so appreciated by everybody that works for him. It’s not something you can see in press conferences, it’s not something you can see after a loss or a win, it’s just how he is as a person. He is just incredibly respected.”

About 900 Gather For Garrett Reid’s Funeral

Garrett ReidGuests began filtering in to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Broomall around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

More than 90 minutes later, the doors closed, and they had all finally made their way inside to pay respects to Garrett William Reid, who died Sunday morning on the Lehigh University campus at the age of 29.

By the time Eagles quarterback Michael Vick arrived a little before 10 a.m., the line had formed an L-Shape around the back entrance. A church representative estimated that around 900 guests were in attendance for the service, which began a little after 11 a.m.

People like Steve Spagnuolo, who served on Andy Reid’s staff from 1999-2006. And others like O.J. Atogwe, who just started playing for him a couple months ago.

Many current players were in attendance, along with several Eagles from years past. Brian Westbrook, Ron Jaworski, and Jeremiah Trotter to name a few.

Coaches, general managers and team presidents like Joe Banner, Tom Heckert and John Harbaugh.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, offensive line coach Howard Mudd and many others.

A little after 10 a.m., wide receiver Jason Avant made his way to the front of the line. Avant was the man charged with leading the players in prayer on the field Sunday morning after they found out the news. He was also he man who later addressed the media and talked about how Andy Reid was there for him when his father died in a car accident last offseason.

The service inside was expected to take fewer than 90 minutes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Broomall is not the Reids’ usual church, but is the largest one in the area, a representative said.

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Eagles Wake-Up Call: T.O. Finds A Team

Terrell Owens has a home – for now.

After getting kicked off the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League, Owens has agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, according to Jay Glazer of

T.O. last was in the league in 2010 when he caught 72 balls for 983 yards and nine touchdowns with the Cincinnati Bengals. He suffered a torn ACL that offseason, but the Seahawks apparently saw enough during a workout Monday to offer him a shot.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Owens’ deal is for the 10-year veterans’ minimum: $925,000, with $640,000 counting against the cap.

Owens will turn 39 in December.


Andy Reid issued a statement Monday night, strongly suggesting that Garrett Reid’s death was drug-related.

Donovan McNabb and others are expected to attend Garrett Reid’s funeral Tuesday morning.

Tim caught up with several players, who shared their memories of Garrett Reid and detailed what Sunday, the day he died, was like for them.

Marty Mornhinweg, who is handling coaching duties in Andy Reid’s place, said the players are trying to rally for their leader.

In my practice observations, I go outside the box and ask the question: Could Chris Polk play fullback?

Tim notes that Jeremy Maclin left practice early, and the Eagles will be facing a rookie quarterback in Week 1.

The Birds released their first official depth chart. Some notes on how it looked right here.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING’s Ashley Fox on Garrett Reid’s death:

To bury a child is the cruelest part of being a parent, no matter the circumstances. Garrett was Reid’s first child. Father and son were close. They had been through hell together. For 10 years, Reid had dealt with his son’s addiction, and for nearly two years Reid had visited Garrett in prison. He went to drug rehab with his son. He was a rock, a constant presence, a loving father and a disciplinarian. Garrett’s journey was ongoing. He was living at home, trying to make it.

Now hell is starting anew.

Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports offers his take:

For all the public humiliation to which the family had been subjected, from the car crashes and the heroin busts, to the pills Garrett Reid had tried to smuggle into prison in a bodily cavity, to the Montgomery County judge who publicly rebuked Andy and Tammy for a lack of parental oversight while describing their home as a “drug emporium,” there was no shame in this father’s voice.

Surely, he wished his sons weren’t struggling with the demons of addiction, but the coach understood the magnitude of their situations and how deeply and continuously they had to fight to keep from slipping once more.’s Peter King on how Andy Reid’s sons affected his decision to sign Michael Vick:

When Reid met with Vick as he was trying to determine whether to offer him a contract, the most important factor to him was whether Vick was in that third phase. His sons stressed that Vick would always be grateful to the Eagles for giving him a chance to reclaim his life and he’d work daily to show they made the right decision.

The Eagles didn’t sign Vick because Reid’s sons urged their father to do it. But if you know Andy Reid, you know he listened to his kids, and their feelings became a piece of a very large puzzle. Three years later, Garrett and Britt have been right on the money on Vick. Small consolation for a family that has to bury a son Tuesday. So sad.


Today was a scheduled day off for the players at Lehigh. Services for Garrett Reid will be held at 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Broomall.

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Andy Reid: Garrett Lost Eight-Year Battle

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy ReidBy Sheil Kapadia and Tim McManus

Andy Reid released a statement on behalf of his family Monday evening.

The wording strongly suggests that Garrett Reid’s death was drug-related.

“Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one,” the statement read. “He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart.”

No official cause of death has been given. Contacted on Monday, the Lehigh University police department said it was waiting for the Northampton County Coroner to complete its investigation before releasing a joint statement.

In November 2007, Garrett Reid was sentenced to jail after hitting another motorist’s car while high on heroin. Authorities found syringes with heroin and testosterone in his vehicle.

“I don’t want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD’d and just faded into oblivion,” he said in court.

Andy Reid took a six-week leave of absence in 2007 to deal with his family’s troubles.

“With kids in their 20s, they think they’ve got it, but it’s like fighting a grizzly bear,” Andy Reid told Philadelphia Magazine during a 2008 interview. “It’s a tough struggle.”

During Garrett Reid’s first stint in prison, authorities found 89 prescription drug pills in his jail cell.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Garrett Reid failed a pair of drug tests in August 2007 and missed another, causing him to go back to jail.

Garrett Reid was spending the summer at Eagles training camp, working with the team’s strength and conditioning department. Offensive lineman Todd Herremans said today he had talked to Garrett Reid about his troubled past.

“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.”

Herremans was asked if he would be surprised if the cause of death was drug-related.

“I think so, yeah,” he said. “It just seemed like everything was going the right way for him. Yeah, that would be surprising.”

Added linebacker Casey Matthews: “I’d be shocked to hear it was something like that.”

Here is Reid’s statement in full:

On behalf of Tammy and our family, I would like to thank everybody for their tremendous support, love, kind words and prayers during this time of great sadness. Words cannot express our sense of loss.

We loved Garrett so much. He was a wonderful son and brother. He made us laugh, he was a pleasure to be around, he always had a smile on his face, and we will miss him dearly. We will never forget him, and we will remember him with love.

Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one. He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart.

I spoke with the team yesterday and thanked them for their thoughts and prayers. I asked them to continue with their preparations for the upcoming season until I am ready to rejoin the team.

It is in times like these that we lean on our faith, our family, our friends, and our Eagles family. We will do so in the difficult times ahead.

Thank you again for your continued support.
Andy Reid


Strong NFL Presence Expected At Garrett Reid’s Services

Eagles past and present are expected to join representatives from across the NFL Tuesday at the services for Andy Reid‘s oldest son, Garrett.

Donovan McNabb is planning to attend. He’ll join Ike Reese and several other former Eagles of the Andy Reid era.

As for the current group, the Eagles will be running buses from both Lehigh and the NovaCare Complex to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Broomall for Tuesday’s 10 a.m. service.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has inquired about the arrangements, according to the Eagles. Steve Mariucci is expected, as are a dozen or more members of the Cleveland Browns organization.

The service is not open to the media or the public.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the domestic-violence prevention agency Laurel House, at Box 764, Norristown, PA 19404.

Mornhinweg: Players Rallying For Andy

Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.Marty Mornhinweg never has a reason to walk over to the field where the defense practices.

As the Eagles assistant head coach/offensive coordinator, his job is to work with Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and the rest of the team’s talented playmakers.

But for obvious reasons, this morning was different.

“It was quite different,” Mornhinweg said. “Any time that your head coach is not available, it is always different. He’s the leader of this football team. There’s no question about that.”

About 20 minutes after practice had started, with the offense and defense working separately, Mornhinweg strolled over to the players in the white jerseys – the linebackers, defensive linemen, cornerbacks and safeties. He didn’t say much, but stood to the side with his hands behind his back while Juan Castillo ran the show.

Normally, this is part of Andy Reid’s routine. During practices, he lets his coordinators and position coaches do a lot of the teaching. That’s especially true now, with veterans like Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn on staff.

After about 10 minutes, Mornhinweg made his way back over to the offense, where he was clearly more comfortable.

Eagles players found out about Garrett Reid’s death before yesterday morning’s practice. Jason Avant led them in prayer, and they tried to go about their business. In the afternoon, there was no hitting, but they practiced again. And once more this morning. No Andy, but the walk-through went on.

“This is a tight-knit group that we have. It’s clear that what has happened in some ways has made our players even closer,” Mornhinweg said. “We’re still saddened by it, and I do think that’s probably pretty normal.”

As for when Reid will return, Jeffrey Lurie said yesterday that he expects the coach to be back some time this week. Mornhinweg wouldn’t give an exact time-frame, but seemed to agree.

“That will be up to Andy,” he said. “This is his personal and private situation. It’s a family matter. I will tell you, Andy runs this organization family-first, but we have great responsibility to this football team. So whenever he’s ready, I will just tell you my personal opinion, knowing Andy, Andy’s a rock. He’ll still be grieving, but I would expect him back pretty quick at some point. I can’t say when. That’s going to be up to him.”

The Eagles will practice this afternoon. Services for Garrett Reid will be held Tuesday, a scheduled day off for the team. The players have a walk-through (closed to fans) at 11 a.m. Wednesday. And the Eagles host the Steelers at 7:30 Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.


Mornhinweg did provide a few injury updates. Casey Matthews had a hip flexor, but the Eagles linebacker said he’s fine and will practice this afternoon.

Cornerback Cliff Harris, who is fighting for a roster spot, turned his ankle, and no decision has been made on whether he’ll play Thursday night.

Defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu is dealing with a hamstring injury.

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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.”

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Tragedy Strikes Reid Family

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy ReidI was typing away in the media trailer here at Lehigh early Sunday morning when a fellow reporter and I noticed the team kneeling down in prayer on one of the fields prior to their walkthrough. It was Sunday but this is not custom, so I went to take a look.

The players appeared shaken —  no one more so that Jon Dorenbos, who stayed on one knee as the rest of the team dispersed and began trying to go about their business. He eventually made it to the sidelines but remained in a meditative state for as long as my eyes were on him.

A scan of the rest of the field revealed that there was no Andy Reid. A short time later we discovered why: his oldest son, Garrett, was found dead that morning in the Sayre Park dormitories.

Howie Roseman was charged with delivering the news to the media. You could see that he was using all his strength to get through it, then all but collapsed into the arms of trainer Rick Burkholder once his duty had been carried out.

Jeffrey Lurie had to stop in the middle of his statement, overcome with emotion when talking about Andy Reid as a family man.  Players walked with heads down. Fans watched practice without barely making a sound.

This is a day that won’t soon leave those who were witness to it. We all felt the crushing heartbreak of an organization wounded. Saw just how much the team cares and aches for their leader.

Our deepest condolences to Andy Reid, the Reid family and the entire Eagles organization.


Here is the full story on the passing of Garrett Reid.  Sheil does a great job of bringing the scene surrounding the afternoon practice to life, complete with quotes from Michael Vick, Nnamdi Asomugha and Jason Avant.

Players both past and present showed their support, including Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb. Others took to Twitter to express their thoughts.

Lurie surprised many of us by announcing that Reid intends to return to coaching this week.

Finally, here is a link to a Philly Mag exclusive about Garrett Reid and a family’s trials from January of 2008.


Jeff McLane did a very nice job with this piece on Andy Reid, the father. Some personal notes that really help paint the picture.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports was able to reach Brad Childress, who was clearly out of sorts.

“I’m having a hard time getting my head around this one. I’m sorry, that’s about all I have to say.”

Ray Didinger, as you might expect, provided great perspective and gave us this anecdote of  a day when Reid raced to see Garrett play a high school football game.

Reid made it to the game with time to spare and was greeted with a standing ovation as he climbed the bleacher steps. The Eagles had upset Dallas the previous week, 41-14, so the coach was a popular guy. Other parents came over to talk and shake his hand, but he was more interested in watching Garrett play.

When the game ended, Garrett came to the fence where his parents were standing. Andy gave Garrett a hug and said, “Nice job, G.” He was just like any other father hugging his son after a high school football game.

I’ve always remembered that moment because it was so warm and genuine.

And it has never seemed sadder than now.


Football goes on at Reid’s request. With Marty Mornhinweg essentially at the helm, the Eagles will hold an 8:15 walkthrough and a practice in the afternoon at 2:45.

Amid Tragedy, Players Stand Behind Reid

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy ReidHowie Roseman made the stroll from the Varsity House to his car. The black BMW SUV was parked in its usual spot next to the practice fields at Lehigh.

It was a couple minutes shy of 2:30 p.m., and the Eagles were getting ready to begin their regularly-scheduled afternoon practice. Roseman grabbed his sunglasses and his camouflage hat. He sprayed on some sunblock and returned to the walkway where the players were filtering out. He greeted Jason Avant, put his arm around DeSean Jackson and made his way to the practice field.

Less than seven hours earlier, Roseman was the man who had to deliver the news to the public: Garrett Reid, Andy’s oldest son, had been found dead at the age of 29. Tragedy had struck the Reid family, and the Eagles’ family.

But practice would still go on.

Jim Washburn was the first man on the field, preparing for the afternoon session by setting up three orange tackling dummies and then sitting alone in the corner of the field where the defensive linemen practice together. There were fans in the stands, but they remained mostly quiet. The humming from 11 TV trucks and vans was the most audible sound.

Eagles players made their way onto the field, mostly in groups. Chas Henry and Alex Henery. The entire offensive line. Howard Mudd driving his cart. Marty Mornhinweg and Juan Castillo, the men charged with the task of temporarily trying to keep the players focused on football.

Before practice started, Jeffrey Lurie delivered a speech to the team. Mornhinweg stood to his right, and Roseman to his left. The players knelt and leaned on their helmets as they listened to the owner. Lurie then made his way to the tent to speak to reporters, breaking down temporarily when talking about how hard Andy Reid had tried with his family.

As the players broke off into their individual positional groups, there were signs of normalcy. Wide receivers coach David Culley ran over to Nnamdi Asomugha and gave him a hard time after the veteran cornerback got schooled by Jackson on a double move during one-on-one drills.

Washburn yelled at his linemen, instructing them to turn and run when the ball was passed downfield. And O.J. Atogwe stood behind the first team, continuing the process of learning the defense by picking the brain of safeties coach Michael Zordich.

“Obviously, it’s a difficult time for us today,” Asomugha said afterwards. “Still managed to come out here and practice, but it’s definitely been a tough day. Garrett was – is – a part of our football family, our extended family, our immediate family, so it’s a very tough time for us. But like they’ve been saying, we’ve been putting the Reid family in our prayers. Just like coach has supported us, we’ll continue to support him during this tough time.”

Jason Avant, whose father died in a car crash in April 2011, spoke after practice about the love he and his teammates have for Reid.

“We’re praying as hard as we can for him, just to let him know this team really, really, really, really, really loves him,” Avant said. “When this thing happened, we were hurting with him. He was there with me personally when my Dad passed last year, first one to call me. And I just want to let him know that I love him and this team loves him. Garrett was a happy, lucky person, and we know that he’s in a better place, and we love Coach Reid.”

And then there was Michael Vick, the man who got a second chance from Reid after getting out of prison three years ago.

“Coach has always been a great supporter of us as a team, as an organization,” Vick said. “He’s been a rock for us and a big teddy bear for us, so we’re going to lean on him, and we’re going to be there for him, and we’re going to stay strong for him until he comes back and can lead us on. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. It’s very difficult, but we’ll find the strength and a way to get through it.”

When Roseman finally got in his car to drive away, it was 6 p.m., and rain poured down on the empty practice fields. It was a day, and a practice, unlike any other for everyone in the organization.

And tomorrow, they’ll all try again.

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McNabb, Kolb React To Passing Of Garrett Reid

A pair of former Eagles quarterbacks expressed their sympathies upon hearing about the death of Andy Reid‘s son, Garrett.

“I was both shocked and saddened when I heard the news this morning of Garrett’s passing,” said Donovan McNabb in a statement. “During my time [in Philadelphia], both Garrett and Britt spent a lot of time around the football team and I know how much Andy loves them.  I spent a lot of time with Andy and his family; we had a great friendship…we still do. My heart goes out to Andy, Tammy and the rest of the Reid family. I cannot imagine what they are feeling right now. God be with them.”

Kevin Kolb had this to say:

“Anyone that’s been around Andy for any amount of time knows how important family is and how much his kids mean to him. This is devastating news. My heart goes out to Andy and Tammy. My thoughts and prayers are with all of them right now.”

There has been an outpouring of support for Reid and his family in the NFL community. Here is a link to some of that reaction.

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