BETHLEHEM — Saying that he knew in his heart it was time and that his son Garrett "wouldn't have wanted it any other way," a "humbled" Andy Reid returned to the Eagles on Wednesday.
The Eagles coach returned to training camp three days after Garrett Reid, 29, was found dead in his Lehigh University dormitory room.
Reid, his wife, Tammy, and their four other children buried Garrett on Tuesday. More than 900 people, including many from the Eagles and NFL communities, attended the funeral service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Broomall.
"I'm a humble man standing before you, very humble man," Reid said, his voice cracking, at the outset of an 18-minute news conference that did not include a single football question. "I'm humble because of the outpouring — not only the media, but our football team, from the fans. It was unbelievable."
Garrett Reid, who had been assisting the Eagles strength and conditioning coaching staff for the last few years, was pronounced dead after a team official made a 911 call Sunday morning. Lehigh police said that there was no indication of suicide or foul play.
Autopsy results are pending, although the Reids acknowledged in a statement on Monday that their son had lost his ongoing battle with drug addiction. Reid was asked how he knew that to be the case and if he had already seen the Northampton County coroner's autopsy results.
"I'm going to let all that take its course," Reid said.
Autopsy results are still pending, and it could be weeks before a toxicology report is made public.
Reid equated his son's struggle with addiction to "fighting a grizzly bear," he said. "It's hard to win." While Garrett Reid's addiction consumed the family for nearly a decade — rehab stints, several prison stays — Andy Reid said that he would most remember the friendship he had developed with his son as he became an adult.
"He taught me a lot of lessons in life that I'll use down the road," Reid said. "You'll always remember the smile and the jokester that he was. You remember those things. Those help you get through the good and the bad times."
Reid said that he had spoken to leaders in the Mormon church; a grief counselor, Dr. Kevin Elko, who also met with Eagles players; and former NFL coach Tony Dungy, who lost his son while he coached the Colts, for support.