Darryl Drake’s Death

Wide Receivers' Coach Darryl Drake of the Pittsburgh Steelers Passed away and many are mourning his death.

Jonathan Rios, Journalist

   A coach is a person you have a bond with, a person who cares for you, a person who pushes you, and a person that you rely on for encouragement. A couple weeks ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost one of their coaches.

   Beloved Wide Receivers’ Coach Darryl Drake of the Steelers suddenly passed away on August 11 at age 62 after an incredible 40-year playing and coaching career. Drake was a wide receivers coach for the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals before joining the Steelers.

   This loss has hit the Steelers hard as this happened right before their last week of training camp in Patrobe, PA and the gloomy, rainy weather didn’t help. Many thought Drake was an incredible person, friend, and coach.

(Photo coutesy of dkpittsburghsports.com) Ryan Switzer (Left) seen with James Washington (right) During the final week of the Steelers’ training after Drake’s death in gloomy, rainy weather.

   “That man, he helped me more so in life off the field than on the field,” said Steelers receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, “just because he was a great man in every category in life.”

   Smith-Schuster was incredibly emotional during the final week of training camp, but it was not just him. Other players were emotional including receiver Ryan Switzer.

   “Coach Drake always called us his sons,” said Switzer, who added that Coach Drake had no little boys.

(Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com) A powerful image of Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (left) comforting Receiver Juju Smith-Schuster (right) following Darryl Drake’s death.

   Coach Drake made a lasting impact on his wife, 3 little girls, and football boys. Therefore, the Steelers are making efforts to remember him. Their first preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs saw the Steelers dawn a “DD” sticker on the back of player’s helmets, and players like Smith-Schuster and Switzer have been wearing wristbands with Drake’s last quote he gave to players “Never choose when great is available.”

   Steelers’ owner Art Rooney II said that coach Drake was passionate and had tremendous spirit toward life, his family, and the game of football. He added that the Steelers plan to pay their respects for the rest of this season. 

   The Steelers have some work to do this season after losing big players to holdouts, free agency, and flaring tensions. During that drama, coach Drake had one quote “shut out the noise.” All of the players and coaches will have to follow his advice to succeed this season.