Pittsburgh Steelers’ President Art Rooney II released a statement on the passing of their wide receivers coach Darryl Drake
Statement from Steelers President Art Rooney II on WR coach Darryl Drake:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2019
“We are at a loss for words following Darryl Drake’s passing this morning. Darryl had such an impact on the players he coached and everyone he worked with throughout his entire career....”
Drake was entering his second season with the Steelers. In his first season coaching in Pittsburgh, the team had one of the best passing attacks in the NFL. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger set a career-high in passing yards (5,129) and JuJu Smith-Schuster had a breakout sophomore season with 111 catches (1,426 yards).
Let’s not forget the impact he has had on the Arizona Cardinals. Larry Fitzgerald went on to have three consecutive 100-catch seasons (2015-17). Former Cardinals Michael Floyd and John Brown posted their only 1000-yard season of their careers with Drake.
Not only did he coach Fitzgerald, he has also coached the likes Antonio Brown and Brandon Marshall. He has been a part of three teams as a coach (Bears, Cardinals, Steelers) but was also an NFL player for the Washington Redskins (1979) and the Cincinnati Bengals (1983).
He spent 21 years coaching in the college ranks prior to being an NFL coach.
Here are some of the reactions around the league of his passing:
Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of Darryl Drake. It is impossible to overstate his impact on the game in nearly four decades as a coach in college and the NFL.— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 11, 2019
Today, the entire football community mourns his loss.
Coming in undrafted to AZ coach Drake use to tell me keep working you have a shot I’ll never forget how encouraging and down to earth he was. I got to see him last year against Pittsburgh and he told me he was so proud of me and where I came from thank you Coach! Love big dog pic.twitter.com/F45xDKPI1b— Tony Jefferson (@_tonyjefferson) August 11, 2019
Rip Coach Drake. So many good times & memories with you in AZ. We will miss your energy forever!— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) August 11, 2019
RIP, Coach Drake ♥️— Lisa Matthews (@LisaMatthewsAZ) August 11, 2019
Forever thankful for our numerous conversations about life & football. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/flie6ekej5
He had such a big impact on the game and made all the people around him better. We send our prayers to his wife and his entire family.
Rest in peace Darryl Drake. You will be missed.