By JACK McCAFFERY
BETHLEHEM --- As Andy Reid had told
the Eagles he'd preferred Sunday, his football team practiced in a
hot sun, even if in a heartbroken disposition.
Hours after learning that Reid's
son, Garrett Reid, 29, had died in a Lehigh University dorm room, the
Birds practiced under the guidance of offensive coordinator and
assistant head coach Marty Mornhinweg, with the aid of defensive
coordinator Juan Castillo.
According to general manager
Howie Roseman, who had announced the death of Garrett Reid, Andy Reid
had wanted the football operation to continue without interruption.
The plays, Mornhinweg and the
Birds could control.
The emotions were more
“Our thoughts and prayers are
with Andy, (his wife) Tammy and the Reid family,” Mornhinweg said
after practice. “It has certainly been a tough day. I can only
imagine how tough it has been on that family.
“As you know, Andy is a rock.
And he has given all of us on this football team --- all the coaches
and administration --- great support for many, many years. And we are
here to support him now.”
As expected, the Eagles had
their entire first-team offensive unit assembled Sunday. But the
morning practice was limited to a special-teams walk-through, and the
players did not wear pads in the afternoon workouts.
The Eagles made only Michael
Vick, Jason Avant and Nnamdi Asomugha available to the press. None
“Our thoughts, prayers and
condolences go out to Coach Reid, Tammy and the entire family,”
Vick said. “Coach has always been a great supporter of us. As a
team and for the organization, he has been a rock for us. We will
lean on him and we will be there for him and stay strong for him
until he can come back and lead us on.”
The Eagles did not specify
when Reid would return to coaching, though owner Jeffrey Lurie
expects it to be soon --- that, for therapeutic as much as for
professional reasons. The Eagles do not expect Reid to work Monday,
but he could be back as soon as Tuesday. The Birds will host the
Pittsburgh Steelers in a preseason game Thursday at the Linc.
“I expect Andy to be coaching
this week and back,” Lurie said. “He feels that way and he is
very, very focused on both his family and his profession. I can't
think of anything else to say except when you're dealing with a
family in pain, be gentle. And at the same time understand at times
they are going to exhibit strength because that's what they need to
do. I think that's what we all need to do.”
On the field Sunday, the Eagles
were strong. Off it, they were compassionate.
“Obviously, it is a difficult
time for us,” Asomugha said. “We still managed to come out here
and practice, but it has been a tough day. Garrett was --- is --- a
part of our football family, our extended family, our immediate
family. So it is a very tough time for us.”
The Eagles have a light workout
scheduled for Monday morning and a full-service practice on their
“We are working as hard as we
can for him,” Avant said of Andy Reid, “just to let him know that
this team really, really, really, really, really loves him. When this
thing happened, we were hurting with him. He was with me personally
when my dad passed last year. He was the first one to call me.
“I want him to know that I
love him and his team loves him.”