Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake dies at 62

A general view of the Pittsburgh Steelers stadium

Both teams remembered their late coach, with the Bears writing on Twitter, "Today we mourn the untimely passing of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake". He had previously spent nine seasons coaching wide receivers with the Chicago Bears (2004-12) and five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals (2013-17) before joining Pittsburgh.

He moved on to the same position with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 before joining Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin's staff previous year.

A cause of death was not announced.

Drake was 62. He joined the Steelers coaching staff in 2018. "The NFL coaching community lost a really good person that always took a great personal interest in the lives of the players he coached and the staff he worked with", Kitchens said in a statement.

"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. He played college football at Western Kentucky and later coached there. "Right now, after practice, I just told them after practice: "If there's people in your life that are important to you, tell them you love them.' You don't know when that time's going to come".

Drake, the Pittsburgh Steelers receivers coach, broke into coaching in 1983 following a brief pro career as an National Football League receiver.


A native of Louisville, Ky., he played college football at Western Kentucky. "We will use our faith to guide us and help his family throughout the hard time". He spent almost a decade at Western Kentucky before becoming the wide receivers coach at the University of Georgia.

Drake is survived by his wife, Sheila; three daughters Shanice, Felisha and Marian, and two grandchildren.

"I saw the hours coaches put in and said no, that's not what I want to do", Drake said (via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster tweeted Sunday that Drake was "my favorite coach that I've ever had in this game".

The Steelers canceled their Sunday practice. He has a press conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday after the team's walkthrough session.

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