- Associated Press - Sunday, August 5, 2012

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his room at the club’s training camp at Lehigh University. He was 29.

The police chief at Lehigh, Edward Shupp, said a 911 call was made at 7:20 a.m., and that Garrett Reid was dead when a policeman arrived at the campus dormitory. A cause of death has not been determined.

“There were no suspicious activities,” Shupp said.

The 29-year-old Reid struggled with drug abuse for years and was imprisoned for a 2007 high-speed car crash in which another driver was injured. Police found heroin, which Reid admitted to using, and more than 200 pills in his car. When he surrendered to begin serving his sentence in that case, prison guards found Reid had tried to smuggle prescription pills into jail.

Reid seemed to have rebounded from his problems in recent times and was assisting the Eagles‘ strength coaches at camp in an unofficial capacity, a not-uncommon sort of role for NFL coaches’ sons. Many of the coaches and staff stay in the Lehigh dorms.

In the midst of his legal troubles in his early 20s, Reid said he “got a thrill” out of being a drug dealer in a lower-income neighborhood just a few miles from his parents’ suburban Villanova mansion.

“I liked being the rich kid in that area and having my own high-status life,” Reid told a probation officer, according to court testimony in November 2007. “I could go anywhere in the ‘hood. They all knew who I was. I enjoyed it. I liked being a drug dealer.”

At his sentencing hearing, Reid told the judge: “I don’t want to die doing drugs. I don’t want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD’d and just faded into oblivion.”

His younger brother, Britt, also had problems with drug use and was arrested on the same day as Garrett in 2007 for a road-rage encounter. Police discovered weapons and drugs in Britt Reid’s vehicle.

The Eagles practiced Sunday morning after gathering for a team prayer, but Andy Reid was not present. Assistants Marty Mornhinweg and Juan Castillo ran the team’s walkthrough and will oversee the Eagles until Reidreturns. Owner Jeffery Lurie said he expected Reid back this week.

The afternoon session Sunday went on, but Lurie canceled his annual state of the team address.

“Today is one of life’s tough days,” Lurie said. “Andy is a rock solid man. I think what makes him a great coach is his combination of compassion, feeling and strength. And today, he exhibited it all. It’s unimaginable. We’ve all suffered — most of us have suffered tragedy in our lives. Losing a son is unimaginable. Losing a child is unimaginable — the pain. Again, he is rock solid.”

Expressions of sympathy came from everywhere around the league.

“My condolences go out to Coach Reid and his family,” quarterback Michael Vick tweeted. “Stay strong and we LOVE you coach.”

Said Commissioner Roger Goodell: “We are deeply saddened by the news about Garrett Reid. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy, Tammy and their family. We will support them and the Eagles in any way we can through this difficult time.”

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