Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake dead at 62

Darryl Drake

Tragic news broke Sunday morning in Pittsburgh: Steelers assistant coach, Darryl Drake has passed away.

Pittsburgh cancelled practices at Saint Vincent College on both Sunday and Monday after announcing Drake's death.

"Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of Darryl Drake", the Cardinals said in a statement Sunday morning.

"Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career".

Drake is survived by his wife, Sheila, daughters Shanice, Felisha and Marian, and two grandchildren. He made stops at Western Kentucky (1983-91), Georgia (1992-96), Baylor (1997) and Texas (1998-2003). He was an assistant coach for 16 years in the National Football League, also serving as wide receivers coach for the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals.

"He was an unbelievable husband, father and grandfather, and it is hard to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now", he said. "Today, the entire football community mourns his loss". "Darryl was the former Bears wide receivers coach under Lovie Smith from 2004-12, including the 2006 Super Bowl appearance".

"The world lost a great person, not just a great coach, but a great person", he said.

Drake was a highly respected coach whose football career spanned five decades, starting as a collegiate player for Western Kentucky University in 1975, before playing wide receiver for the Washington Redskins, the Ottawa Rough Riders and the Cincinnati Bengals. "He was a tremendous coach and even better man. We will use our faith to guide us and help his family throughout the hard time". "I wish I could see you just one more time".

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster tweeted Sunday that Drake was "my favorite coach that I've ever had in this game". "This is hard to believe and we're all going to miss him".

Former Steelers receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey shared a video of Drake in the moments before a wide receiver meeting last season leading a prayer, something Heyward-Bey said Drake did before every meeting.



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