COLUMN: Eagles rally behind Reid in tough time
The tragedy that engulfed the Philadelphia Eagles organization Sunday morning was one of shock and sadness with the sudden death of Garrett Reid.
The 29-year-old son of head coach Andy Reid was found unresponsive in a Lehigh University dorm room at 7:20 am Sunday when he was found by an Eagles official.
The aftermath and questions that remain are now part of the puzzle that the Reid family, Eagles organization and fans seek in the wake of a family tragedy.
Questions regarding Garrett Reid's history have certainly come under scrutiny in regards to his troubled past with prescription pills and bouts with heroin addiction that came to the forefront during a traffic stop on January 30, 2007 where Reid was arrested on drug charges.
The Reid's have publicly said that Garrett's drug problems started in 2002 when he attended Brigham Young University and became involved with OxyContin and heroin.
Now, a sudden death overnight during Eagles training camp has led many people to speculate on the causes of Garrett Reid's death. By the time this article is published, an autopsy was expected to be performed on Reid's body to give people clarity on the causes of such a tragic loss for the Reid family.
But make no mistake about it, this is a loss for the entire Eagles family. Garrett Reid was a staple on the practice field, serving as an assistant to strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin.
As Eagles defensive back Nnamdi Asomugha put it on Sunday, "Garrett is a part of our football family, our extended family, our immediate family, so it's a very tough time for us."
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has spent his entire 14-year career with the Eagles and Andy Reid. Now, he'll be helping the head coach and his friend deal with a problem greater than any X's and O's.
"We've been with Andy for a long time. He's always been strong for us; we're going to be strong for him right now," Roseman said. "As a father and a friend, we're all hurting."
After finding out the results of the autopsy, the next question is how will the Eagles move forward and when will the Reid family be able to heal?
The NFL is a microscopic sports league, where each and every minute of the day is scripted for the coaching fraternity. Coping with the death of your child is a task that Reid is now dealt with. Eagles' brass have called the head coach "rock-solid" in the wake of the tragedy, but nobody really knows how Reid is dealing with it internally.
When Reid took a six-week leave of absence in 2007 following the arrest of Garrett, as well as his brother Britt, on separate drug-related traffic incidents, the Eagles season was over after an 8-8 finish that found them last in the NFC East.
Reid had time to cope. He had time to deal.
With the hype and expectations surrounding this team heading into their September 9 opener at Cleveland, Reid is dealing with the biggest blow of his life in the midst of season preparations.
This will undoubtedly be a rallying cry for the organization and its players, as their love and support for the coach has been evident.
Quarterback Michael Vick tweeted "My condolences go out to Coach Reid and his family. Stay strong and we LOVE you coach."
Todd Herremans added, "Terrible news today.. Please pray for the Reid family in this tough time.. Garret was a good friend and will truly be missed!"
As much as this may be football related, it's also another reminder about the fragility of life. One day you're on the football field working, the next day you are gone forever.
It's reminders like these that make you more grateful for what you have in life, no matter the circumstances.