Players Welcome Back Reid

Andy Reid will be on the sideline for the Eagles' preseason opener against the Steelers Thursday. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

BETHLEHEM -- Eagles coach Andy Reid returned to the team for this morning's walkthrough, the day after Reid buried his eldest son, Garrett.

Reid will be on the sideline when the Eagles open their preseason against the Steelers Thursday at the Linc.

Reid addressed the team briefly on the practice field before the walkthrough. He arrived just before the 11 a.m. start of the practice, in a black GMC Yukon driven by team security director Dom DiSandro.

After the 30-minute session, Reid spoke eloquently of his appreciation for the outpouring of support his family has received, of his reasons for wanting to return so quickly, of his family's grieving process as it works through the death of Garrett, 29, who was found dead in a Lehigh dorm room Sunday morning.

His players were very happy to see him.

"It just shows his strength. For him to go through what he did, losing his son, and for him to be out here, operating as normal ... as a man, you just look up to him as a guy you definitely want to grow to be like one day," middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans said.

"I think football is going to help Andy move forward," defensive end Trent Cole said.

Quarterback Michael Vick spoke of dedicating the season to Andy and Garrett Reid.

"Pretty much whatever Michael says, I'm all for it," Cole said.

"To see him on the field, where he can take his mind off things was good for all of us," tight end Brent Celek said. Was Celek surprised to see Reid back so quickly? "A little bit, but I'm sure it's therapeutic for him," Celek said.

Celek said it was "a little bit of a given" that the season would be dedicated to Andy, to helping the Reids. "We want to do everything in our power to win this one for Andy," Celek said.


Reid said each of the Eagles' four quarterbacks will get one quarter of the game against the Steelers. Held out with injuries will be S Nate Allen, TE Brent Celek, DE Trent Cole, DE Jason Babin, LB Jamar Chaney, WR Riley Cooper, CB Cliff Harris and OL Brandon Washington.