Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Remarks: "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."

Injury Report: "For tomorrow's game, (S) Nate Allen, (TE) Brent Celek, (DE) Trent Cole, (DE) Jason Babin, (LB) Jamar Chaney, (WR) Riley Cooper, (CB) Cliff Harris, and (G) Brandon Washington will not play. The way we'll break down play time is that we have four quarterbacks and in other positions we have three, so you can figure that out from there. The quarterbacks can each take a quarter, and then the rest of the offense and defense being three deep, we'll work it with three units. The defensive line will be a little bit different based on the rotation that they work, so you'll see the starting defensive line rotate as they would in a game, and they'll go with a half."

On how important it was professionally and personally to come back and be with the team right now: "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."

On whether he feels a certain security being out here coaching his team: "I'm not sure of the term – security or what that is- I feel their love and comfort. Like I said, yesterday was a humbling experience just with the outpour from everybody. This football team was there. I want to make sure that they're okay, too, as we go through this. It's important that my family is okay and it's important that they're okay."

On who he was able to talk to in order to help get through this tragedy: "I talked to some of our church leaders. I also talked to the same grief counselor (that was available to the players) in Dr. Kevin Elko. I asked him to come down, and he did. Out of the graciousness of his heart, he came down to talk to my family."

On his son's eight-year struggle and how that was related to his death: "I'm not going to get into all that. I'll let all that take its course."

On what it was like for him to drive up here and go through his routine: "I'm okay with that, and I was okay with driving up here. I felt strength from my family and friends. That wasn't a problem. I had an opportunity to address the football team, which I needed to do."

On whether he talked to former Colts head coach Tony Dungy, who also lost his son: "Yes I did."

On whether he found it difficult preparing for the walk-through this morning: "On the football part of it, I have that focus and I'm there. I have that part of it. I've done that once or twice so I have that part down. Those earthly emotions that you have, you deal with those – the good, the bad. You remember the smiles and you remember the cries. That's a part of life. I always tell the players that are four things that you go about in life and how you approach it. The first is eliminating distractions, another is to create energy, you fear nothing, and then you attack everything. That's how you have to go about life. Life is going to throw you some curveballs, all of us, and you're not going to bail. You're going to stand in there and you're going to keep swinging. I think that's very important."

On what made him choose today as the best day to come back: "My heart. I just felt it in my heart. The support of my family, and my wife. I mentioned about Garrett, and I know him just about as good if not better than anybody. I know he'd want it that way."

On what touched him most about yesterday: "It's humbling. I can't put it to you any other way. The outreach to my family and the love for Garrett along with the people that he touched was a phenomenal sign that was given. It was beautiful, that part of it, and we appreciated it as a family."

On why it was important for him to meet with the players and coaches Sunday afternoon: "I thought it was important. These kids are the same age that my son was, and I've got a few more kids here, too. They're all right in that age group. I know they were worried, and I thought it was important that I talked to them. I was trying to be as candid as I could be with them during that situation in what would take place. I just thought they needed to know."

On what the meeting this morning was like: "It was a little bit like what I shared with you. You are very humbled. I can't explain that and can't really go any further other than that the love and the outpouring was incredible. It helps build strength in your family. There is just a comfort there that people care. I didn't expect that at all, and that was a special thing."

On whether he realized so many of the players felt a certain way for Garrett and why he was thought of that way: "He's always been that way, even as a kid. If there was a kid with a problem, he was always right there and would put his arm around that kid and take care of them. He cared about people and he got caught up in a terrible situation that affects a lot of people in this country. It's like fighting a grizzly bear, it's hard to win."

On how the rest of his family is dealing with the loss: "They're staying strong. You have to go through a period where you have to get it out. Thank goodness for our faith, and we have a great foundation that you bank on. You find strength there. You're going to cry a little bit, and then you're going to laugh a little bit. Then, you're going to cry some more and you're going to laugh some more. It's a tough thing that way, but this is life. This is the challenge that we've been presented there. You have to work through those. You have to have courage and strength to do those. You have to know that Garrett is in a good place right now and is in peace."

On whether the depth of the outpouring has touched him considerably: "I haven't had an opportunity to read everything and hear the quotes, but I just had to chance to shake hands, give hugs, and have a lot of love presented to us. Not everybody was able to make it through the line, and I do feel bad about that part. Listen, that's a special thing and I don't know how to explain that. I don't have enough words to explain that yet."

On his response to Michael Vick saying he will dedicate the season to him: "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."

On how his wife, Tammy Reid, is holding up through all of this: "It's tough. She's a strong lady and she's very close to the Heavenly Father. To marry a football coach, you have to be, right? You have to have a strong foundation. I'm proud of her. I hurt for her, but she's doing well."

On whether she was hesitant that he was coming back to football so quickly: "Not at all. Listen, we know this is about Garrett. We understand that Garrett is at peace and that he's in great hands. Whatever trials and tribulations he had here, he's in a better place. So that comforts both of us. She figured that I would be going and she encouraged that as long as I was okay with it. When I say thank goodness for our faith, I believe very strongly in that."

On whether he feels this could become a rallying point for the team: "I would never ask that. That's not something I would ever ask. That's not how I operate. I hope it would be a rallying cry for the people (around the world) who have had the same struggles, that they can overcome them, and make them stronger. And (it's the) families that hurt. Garrett is at peace, and it's the family that has to work through it. So those are the people that I hope that it helps."

On the support from the people of the city of Philadelphia: "Again, it's unbelievable. There were fans with signs all along the road there. The fans were incredible, and the support was felt, all of it. That part was awesome. I don't have words for all of that."

On where Reid thinks that he will feel Garrett's loss the most: "Friendship. You get these kids, and they grow up. You get to the teens, the higher-teens, and then the twenties and thirties. They become more than your son – they're your friend. You're going to miss that. But at the same time, you gain strength from it. He taught me a lot of lessons in life that I'll use down the road. You'll always remember his smile and the jokester that he was. Those help you get through the good and the bad times."

On whether he is worried about the team being focused: "I saw a strength. I felt a strength yesterday. I felt a strength with our team yesterday. I don't look at it from a team's standpoint. I look at it from an individual's standpoint. The individuals make it into a team so they build themselves and come together. But you have to be okay with yourself first and so I think that closure with that, I think, was very important. To see Garrett at peace, to be able to talk through it with one another - that's all the experience is. It's not one experience that makes up a team, it's many experiences that bring a team together. If this can be a small thing that helps them get to know each other better, that's a positive. But I think they have to be okay with themselves first and with the situation. That's why I talked to them the two times that I have."

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