Holmgren was one of many current and former NFL players, coaches and officials who made the trip to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Broomall Tuesday morning to show support to the Reid family at Garrett Reid's funeral. The 29-year-old was found dead in his dormitory room at Lehigh University on Sunday.
Many current Eagles and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also made the trip. Saints owner Tom Benson flew in a plane full of people in his private jet, including Patriots coach Bill Belichick and acting Saints coach Joe Vitt.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh made the trip on his own. Former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski, former Eagles defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and former Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress were also in attendance.
So were former Eagles Donovan McNabb, Jeremiah Trotter and Brian Westbrook.
"I think we saw today how respected he is in this league," Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles owner, said of Reid.
Lurie has spoken with coaches, including Belichick, who's father died in 2005, about what it's like trying to coach a season after a tragic loss.
The one thing that has remained consistent in the answers is that everyone is different. Nobody handles grief the same.
Those closest to Reid continue to describe him as a "rock," a stable influence during an unstable time. Harbaugh said Reid was "very much himself. He was comforting us."
Holmgren said Reid "prides himself on being a rock." Lurie said Reid is a "rock-solid man."
Of Reid's five children, Garrett, the oldest, looked most like Reid.
Several stories were told during the service - about 900 people attended - of Garrett's desire to befriend those going through times and his infectious personality.
One church official told those gathered that he spent an evening in the Reid househould last year and left blown away by the love and warmth within the house. He told the crowd he wished he was lucky enough to have the same relationship with his father and brothers that Garrett had.
Etta Szeftel, a board member at Laurel House, a sanctuary for women suffering from domestic violence and perhaps the biggest charity supported by Tammy Reid, said the Reid family greeted every person in line in with acknowledgement.
"They're strong," she said. "Much stronger than I thought."
Sandra Levensen, of Collegeville, who is also on the advisory board of the Laurel House, said the focus was on family.
"It was a beautiful way to see the impact of family love through thick and thin, through good and bad," she said. "Every single person who spoke talked about the love that the parents gave to all of the children, and the love that the extended family shared. . . . That's what it's all about."
Outside the church, a group of about 10 people stood on the sidewalk across the street.
Many were surprised that more didn't show up to stand with them. They gathered, Kim Swick said, not because they wanted to wave to some of their favorite players but because they wanted Reid to see the support he had from the city.
"I just think it's important," she said.
Holmgren talked about how well he knew the Reid family. His daughter used to babysit the five Reid children, he said.
Then he paused and reflected on why he was here. His friend, Andy Reid, was about to bury his son.
Holmgren took a quick breath and started talking about Andy.
"He was the son I never had," Holmgren said.
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