Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid returned to the team’s training camp today, just one day after he buried his son Garrett. After leading the morning walkthrough, Reid addressed the media for the first time since his son’s death.
Here’s what he had to say.
“I’m a very humble man standing before you. A very humble man. I’m humble because of the outpouring [of support], not only from the media but from our football team and the fans. It was unbelievable. I’m not sure you ever think that many people care, not that you would ever go in that direction, but it’s very humbling. A very humbling feeling. I know my son would feel the same way. I think that’s all I can say on that part and keep it all together. It’s a sad situation and it’s one that my son has been battling for a number of years. Our family has been battling. It doesn’t mean you stop loving your son, because that’s not what you do. You love him and a lot of families deal with this type of thing. It’s a sad situation.
“On the other part of that, I praise my Heavenly Father for all of the support and the strength that He’s given me to be able to work through this, [along with] my family and my football family, and that includes everybody in the National Football League, including you guys and ladies. I just know that coming back and coaching is the right thing to do. I know my son wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. With that, I’ll move on and talk about the injuries. Again, I appreciate everything that you folks did in giving me your support. I know it’s hard being in [the media’s] position to do that, but again, I appreciate you for doing that.”
As for knowing when was the right time to come back, Reid says he knows Garrett would have wanted him back with the team as soon as possible. Knowing that has given him the strength to return.
“You feel the strength of the team. I felt it with my family the past couple of days, and I feel it with the team. I’m a football coach, that’s what I do, and I know my son wouldn’t want it any other way. I can’t put it to you any more frank than that. He loved the Philadelphia Eagles. I know what he would want me to do.”
After the morning practice, Michael Vick declared that the team would dedicate their 2012 season to Garrett. Andy said he was touched by the gesture.
“Again, that’s a humbling thing. I’m pulling for [QB] Michael Vick because Michael and Garrett were close. They had gone through some of the same experiences as far as being incarcerated and so forth. They developed a bond there, and I respect Michael for that. Again, I’m not sure I have the words to answer that, but those are the humbling things. It’s crazy.”
The Eagles will open their preseason tomorrow night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.