Andy Reid returns to Eagles after son’s funeral

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BETHLEHEM, PA. (AP) - Andy Reid returned to the Philadelphia Eagles a day after his 29-year-old son’s funeral, saying it’s “the right thing to do.”

Garrett Reid, the oldest of five children for Andy and Tammy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his dorm room at Lehigh University where he was assisting the team’s strength and conditioning coach during training camp.

Andy Reid was back on the sideline for a walkthrough Wednesday and plans to coach the preseason opener against Pittsburgh on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

“You feel the strength of the team,” Reid said when asked why he came back so soon. “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.”

More than 900 people, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, general managers and coaches from other teams and current and former players, attended the funeral service Tuesday.

“I’m a very humble man standing before you, a very humble man,” Reid said. “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. 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.”

Garrett Reid was a recovering drug addict who had seemingly turned his life around. But his father indicated that his son may have had a relapse. An official cause of death hasn’t been determined yet.

“It’s a sad situation and it’s one that my son has been battling for a number of years,” Reid said. “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.

“Whatever trials and tribulations he had here, he’s in a better place.”

Players welcomed their coach back and several said they are dedicating the season to Garrett Reid.

“We just want to uplift him, uplift his spirits and everything like that and just make him feel in a comfort zone where he doesn’t have to worry about too many things,” wide receiver DeSean Jackson said. “It’s really an honor to have him as our head coach. He’s really a great guy, so whatever it is we have to do to keep him up in spirits and keep him going.

“That’s what we’re here for.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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