Ex-Cardinals wide receivers coach Darryl Drake dies suddenly

A general view of the Pittsburgh Steelers stadium

A general view of the Pittsburgh Steelers stadium

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

Team president Art Rooney II confirmed Drake's death Sunday morning in a statement. Darryl loved the game of football and every player he ever coached.

Drake is survived by his wife, Sheila, daughters Shanice, Felisha and Marian as well as two grandchildren. A longtime National Football League and college assistant, he was the Arizona Cardinals' wide receivers coach for five years before joining Pittsburgh and held the same position with the Chicago Bears for nine seasons.

"He was an wonderful husband, father and grandfather, and it is hard to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now", Tomlin said.

The team did not disclose a cause of death.

Drake coached in Arizona under then-head coach Bruce Arians. The NFL must go on, but Darryl Drake's contributions to Pittsburgh and to the game of football will not be forgotten.

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The Steelers canceled their Sunday practice. His career also included stops at Western Kentucky, Georgia, Baylor and Texas before he moved to the pros. "Let faith guide us all through this incredibly hard moment... sending prayers to all of the extended Drake family, especially to his incredible wife Sheila and their handsome children".

"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 added.

He was scheduled to begin his second season as the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach. "Darryl was the former Bears wide receivers coach under Lovie Smith from 2004-12, including the 2006 Super Bowl appearance".

Fans, media, players, and coaches poured out their condolences to the Drake family and spoke highly of Coach Drake on social media.

"I never really recognized that fact early, but when I started getting calls from guys I had coached 20 to 25 years ago and they would say, 'You said this to me or you did this for me or you gave me an opportunity to do this, ' it made me a better father".

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