The death of Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry this morning has shocked and saddened players and coaches across the league. Two of Henry's former teammates in Cincinnati, Geoffrey Pope and Stacy Andrews, expressed their feelings to reporters in Philly.
"I know he was a changed man, so this hurt me," Andrews said. "I know there were some negative things in his past, but he did an amazing turnaround in the last year and a half. Once the team signed him back, you could see it in his face that he was glad to be back and ready to restart his career and do the right things for his family and the team."
Added Pope: "It's just kind of hard to believe. Contrary to what everybody believed, he had a good heart. Everybody wants to judge people, but everybody gets into trouble in your life. He genuinely made a conscious effort, not only for himself, but also for his kids, to turn his life around. Cincinnati stuck with him and he was really doing that."
Obviously, there are a lot of folks in the Redskins organization who can relate to what the Bengals are going through today. The shocking death of Sean Taylor two years ago is still fresh in the minds of his former teammates. I remember how former coach Joe Gibbs allowed his players time to grieve in the weeks after Taylor's death. It's not like he'd ever prepared for something like that, but Gibbs made a huge impact on his players by grieving in front of them. This thought that football coaches and players have to remain stoic and tough at all times was dismissed and the Redskins bonded like never before.