"We are at a loss for words following Darryl Drake's passing this morning".
Darryl Drake was a close friend to many in the Steelers facility, and remained close with many in the Cardinals and Bears facilities. Both his cause and manner of death are pending, said Ken Bacha of the Westmoreland County coroner's office.
"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.
"Darryl loved the game of football and every player he ever coached". "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 was entering his second season with the Steelers and the 15th of his coaching career.
Many in the National Football League community are mourning the death of a longtime assistant coach who spent a significant amount of his career in the league in Chicago. "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 lovely children". "Darryl was the former Bears wide receivers coach under Lovie Smith from 2004-12, including the 2006 Super Bowl appearance". One of the players he recruited to Georiga was Hines Ward, who looked back on the impact Drake had on his life shortly after the news of Drake's passing broke on Sunday.
Drake is survived by his wife, three children and his 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).
Mike Tomlin will address the media at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to discuss the situation and likely go over the team's plans moving forward without their receivers coach.
The Steelers said the team's scheduled practice on Sunday at Saint Vincent College was canceled.