BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Garrett Reid was a “happy-go-lucky” guy who conquered drug addiction, loved being in the weight room and enjoyed making players laugh.
That’s how many of the Philadelphia Eagles closest to Reid remembered their coach’s oldest son, who was found dead Sunday in a dorm room at the club’s Lehigh University training camp. Police said the 29-year-old’s death was not suspicious, and the cause was under investigation.
“I spent plenty of time with him,” guard Evan Mathis said Monday. “He was always in the weight room with us and was always on the field with us. He was a happy-go-lucky guy and always a joy to be around, always telling jokes and having fun. Really just brightened your day when you were around him.”
Funeral services will be held today.
On Monday night, Andy Reid, who has yet to address the media, issued a statement through the team.
“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,” Andy Reid said. “We will never forget him, and we will remember him with love.”
Today is a scheduled day off from camp, so players are expected to join their coach at the funeral.
“I spent a lot of the offseason hanging out with Garrett. We were pretty close,” center Jason Kelce said. “I want to be there to say goodbye to him.”
The Eagles held a regular morning walkthrough and a full afternoon practice Monday without Andy Reid for the second straight day. Reid spoke to the team Sunday before he left camp and impressed upon them the importance of sticking to their daily schedules.
“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,” Andy Reid said. “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.”
The Eagles open the preseason against the Steelers on Thursday at Lincoln Financial Field. Owner Jeffrey Lurie already said he expects Reid, a father of five, to return this week.
“For us to not take any days off and be out here having Coach Reid and Garrett on our minds, it’s been tough,” running back LeSean McCoy said. “The biggest thing is that he wants all of us to stay together as a team. He said, ‘Guys, stick together. We’re all in this together.’
“We’re actually his extended family, and he said it’s tough right now, but we need to stay together as a team even in his absence. He wants us to be here, stay together, train hard, and try and achieve our goal. Playing a game is something big, but playing for him and his family actually motivates us a little bit more.”
Garrett Reid had been staying at camp where he assisted strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin in an unofficial capacity. Exercise and training had become a passion for Reid and he aspired to make it a career.