BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Philadelphia Eagles tried to honor coach Andy Reid's wishes by getting back to focusing on football Monday.
They responded with one of the most spirited practices since they reported to training camp at Lehigh University two weeks ago.
Running back LeSean McCoy challenged safety Kurt Coleman during the pass protection drill, then stopped him in his tracks while talking trash. Coleman answered with two interceptions later. Fullback Stanley Havili threw a punch at cornerback at safety Phillip Thomas, who danced around until coaches intervened. Guard Evan Mathis emphatically pointed out defensive tackle Derek Landri had jumped offsides, drawing laughs from the fans.
"That was definitely a high-energy practice," Mathis said. "As a team, I thought we rallied together and picked each other up. When every single person has that mentality, it's a powerful thing."
It wasn't easy.
Players and coaches participated in a walkthrough and practice while also still trying to cope with the death of Reid's oldest son, Garrett Reid. The 29-year-old, who was attending training camp as a volunteer assistant with the strength and conditioning staff, was found dead in his dorm room Sunday morning.
The Eagles issued a joint statement Monday afternoon from Lehigh University chief of police Ed Shupp, Northampton County district attorney John Morganelli and county coroner Zachary Lysek that indicated the investigation into his death is still ongoing and no addition information will be released until it is completed.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg ran Monday's practices in place of Andy Reid, who left the team Sunday after delivering an emotional address to the players. Reid is expected to return for Thursday's preseason opener against Pittsburgh on Thursday, though most of the team will be attending Garrett Reid's funeral today in Broomall, Pa.
"It was quite different (without Reid)," Mornhinweg said. "Any time that your head coach is not available, it is always different. He's the leader of this football team, there's no question about that."