Teammates, friends, coaches and colleagues reacted Thursday to the death of 26-year-old Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry.
"We knew him in a different way than his public persona. He had worked through the troubles in his life and had finally seemingly reached the point where everything was going to blossom. And he was going to have the future we all wanted for him. It's painful to us. We feel it in our hearts, and we will miss him."
-- Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown
"Chris was a guy that I believe and our team believes was heavily misunderstood. There was a lot of speculation about who he was, but the only guys that knew Chris and knew how good of a heart he had, how kind he was, how gentle he was, how soft of a heart he had, were the guys in our locker room, the guys who were close to him, his family."
-- Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer
"I just talked to Chris, Tuesday night. Tuesday night he called me to see how I was doing based off of last Sunday's game. I told him I was good. We talked before every game and he'd tell me to go out there and handle my business. He was doing everything right, he was doing everything right. My grandma always says you never question the man upstairs on decisions he makes. Everyone makes mistakes, but I don't see how Chris was supposed to go already, especially when he was on the right path. Other than that, he's going to be missed.
-- Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocino
"I just pray for his mom and his family and for Loleini's family also. Only they know what really happened. All I know is we lost Chris."
-- Defensive lineman Domata Peko, one of Henry's closest friends on team
"The NFL Players Association is deeply saddened by the news of Chris Henry's passing this morning. We were all shocked and dismayed to hear of this horrific tragedy. Chris was a fine player, but more importantly a fine person. On behalf of all NFL players, we would like to express our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all of the fans he inspired across the country."
-- NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith
"I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Chris Henry. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his fiancee, children and their families as they deal with this sudden and tragic loss. I enjoyed our time together at West Virginia and we shared a lot of great moments. I have many fond memories of our three years together and will remember those forever. Chris will be missed by many and he will always have a place in my heart."
-- Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez, Chris Henry's coach at West Virginia
"He is in my thoughts, as well as those of his former teammates, right now. We say 'Once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer,' and Chris was a big part of our success during his time here. Our hearts and prayers go out to his mother and family. He will be greatly missed."
-- West Virginia coach Bill Stewart, who was an assistant when Henry was with the team
"He came by just before training camp and we had a long talk. It really seemed he was headed in a new direction. I told him he had to do better. We talked about making sure he was hanging around the right people and was aware of the situation around him. It seemed like he was making a diligent effort to do well."
-- Belle Chasse High School coach Bob Becnel. Henry grew up in Belle Chasse, a suburban community south of New Orleans.
"It's sad. He was a talented guy. When I played with him he was a good guy, quiet in the locker room. He kept to himself for the most part. From everything that it sounded like, he was getting back on track and this happens. My feelings go out to him and his family."
-- 49ers DE Justin Smith, Henry's teammate from 2005-07 in Cincinnati
"I was sad to hear. You hate to see somebody go. He was a good guy. We've all made bad decisions throughout our life, but he grew from it, he learned from it and he had a family, so I'm definitely sad to hear that happen. I knew him very well. I'm just sad to hear that and I'll pray for him, I'll pray for everybody."
-- 49ers LB Ahmad Brooks, Henry's teammate from 2006-07 in Cincinnati