Steelers receivers coach Darryl Drake dies at 62

Florence Fletcher
August 13, 2019

An outpouring of mourning, support and prayers were posted online Sunday by former teams, players and coaches that Drake has positively impacted, with former Indianapolis Colts head coach, Tony Dungy, calling him a "tremendous coach and an even better man".

No cause of death was specified in a statement from Steelers president Art Rooney II.

He moved on to the same position with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 before joining Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin's staff in 2018. He said he was a close friend who had "a tremendous impact" on his coaching career and who "loved the game of football and every player he coached". "He was an incredible husband, father and grandfather, and it is hard to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now".

Drake is survived by his wife, three children and his grandchildren.

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Drake was entering his second season as Pittsburgh's wide receivers coach. He played college football at Western Kentucky and later coached there.

Before becoming a coach at Georgia back in 1992, Drake spent time as a player in training camp with the Washington Redskins (1979) and the Cincinnati Bengals (1983). We will use our faith to guide us and help his family throughout (this) hard time.

Drake's next coaching stop took him to Arizona, where he would spend the next five years of his career. "As a man, a coach, a husband, and a father, he was as good as they come", Fitzgerald wrote. Drake's top two receivers, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown, broke the franchise record for most combined receiving yards by a pair of teammates (2,273) in a single season. While Chicago's official Twitter handle issued a statement on Drake's passing on Sunday, several former Bears players, including tight end Greg Olsen, offered their own tributes to Drake via social media. He died early Sunday and had been active in coaching the Steelers through training camp and Pittsburgh's preseason opener Friday night. The team is expected to return to practice Tuesday.

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