Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid's oldest son found dead

Published: Sunday, Aug. 5 2012 11:07 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this file photo from Feb. 16, 2007, Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, leaves the Plymouth Township police station in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., after surrendering to police for 14 misdemeanor and summary offenses. Garrett Reid was found dead Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in his room at Eagles training camp at Lehigh University. Police say "there were no suspicious activities."

Mark Stehle, File, Associated Press

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. — This practice day was tougher than any other for the Philadelphia Eagles. After all, sadness, shock, and sorrow beyond anyone's belief hovered over their training camp site on a day when they lost "a part of the family."

Garrett Reid, the troubled 29-year-old son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday in a dorm room at the club's Lehigh University training camp, where he spent many summers hanging out with his father's team.

Police said the death was not suspicious, and the cause was under investigation. The coach's oldest son had a long history of drug problems, once admitting "I liked being a drug dealer" and went to prison for a heroin-fueled car crash.

Reid's death, of course, stunned the Eagles, who took the field only because their coach wanted them to continue with their scheduled practices.

Michael Vick, Nnamdi Asomugha and Jason Avant spoke briefly following the afternoon practice, each offering prayers and condolences to the Reid family. Owner Jeffrey Lurie fought back tears when talking to reporters and general manager Howie Roseman broke down after delivering the news in the morning.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Broomall, Pa. Tuesday is a scheduled day off from camp, so the team will be in attendance.

A few players went out to dinner later in the evening and took a solemn, solitary moment to toast Garrett Reid, calling him "a part of the family."

"This is a very difficult situation for us all to deal with," Vick said. "Coach has always been a great supporter of us, as a team, as an organization. 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."

Lurie met with the team on the field and told reporters afterward he expected Reid back this week, ending any speculation the coach may not return.

Reid, a father of five, took a leave of absence during the 2007 offseason to spend more time with his family after Garrett and his second-oldest son, Britt, were sentenced to prison on the same day for separate incidents.

The Eagles play host to Pittsburgh in the preseason opener on Thursday night.

"I've watched Andy try so hard with his family over the years," Lurie said. "You see a man that really cares. He loves his players, he loves his coaches. He feels so bad that he's even interfering with their success today, tomorrow. He knows they're in good hands with our coaches, but actually in this moment of terrible pain, he's reaching out to all of us."

The police chief at Lehigh, Edward Shupp, said a 911 call was made at 7:20 a.m. about Reid, and that he was dead when a policeman arrived at the campus dormitory. The police and the Northampton County coroner were investigating.

Shupp said "there were no suspicious activities." Police didn't return later telephone calls for comment, and didn't say who found Garrett Reid or whether any clues to his death were found in his room.

Reid had been staying at the camp where he assisted the Eagles' strength coaches in an unofficial capacity, a not-uncommon sort of role for NFL coaches' sons. He was frequently seen on the sideline at practices and in the locker room after games. Many of the coaches and staff stay in the Lehigh dorms.

He seemed to have rebounded from a yearslong struggle with drug abuse that landed him in prison.

"Garrett was always smiling and laughing no matter what," Eagles receiver Chad Hall wrote on Twitter. "He was very caring and selfless. An overall great person. You will NOT be forgotten!"

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