After the death of Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, there was an outpouring of love and reflection on the life of the 62-year-old coach and mentor, particularly from those whose professional and personal paths crossed with Drake, who was remembered fondly as a friend and a mentor by fellow coaches and his players.
PRESIDENT ART ROONEY II
“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. He was a passionate coach and had a tremendous spirit toward life, his family, his faith and the game of football.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Sheila, his three daughters, his grandchildren and entire family during this difficult time.”
HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN
“Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career. He was an amazing husband, father and grandfather, and it is difficult to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now.
“Darryl loved the game of football and every player he ever coached. We will use our faith to guide us and help his family throughout the difficult time.
“My heart and our prayers are with his wife, Sheila, and Darryl’s entire family.”
FORMER WR DARRIUS HEYWARD-BEY
My heart is heavy. Today Steeler Nation and the football world lost not only a good coach but a great man. RIP coach Drake. Thanks for always standing on the table for me. pic.twitter.com/kyux9O51Gh
— Darrius Heyward-Bey (@theDHB85) August 11, 2019
FORMER LB ARTHUR MOATS
Hate to hear the news about Coach Drake. He was a great man and true leader. He will truly be missed. R.I.P.
— Arthur Moats (@dabody52) August 11, 2019
FORMER OL MARCUS GILBERT
At a loss for words! One of my all time favorite coaches to be around. Rest easy Coach Drake
— Marcus Gilbert (@MarcusGilbert88) August 11, 2019
FORMER PLAYER, COACH TONY DUNGY
Darryl Drake was in our coaches bible study. He was a tremendous coach and an even better man. This is hard to believe and we’re all going to miss him. But it’s proof of what the Bible says—tomorrow is not promised to us. 🙏🏽🙏🏽for his family and his players. https://t.co/KAcu1t4ULr
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) August 11, 2019
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.
Today, the entire football community mourns his loss.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 11, 2019
FORMER S TONY JEFFERSON
Wow RIP to coach drake . Sucha great man! Much love and respect to him & his family 🙏🏾 prayers up . Unbelievable
— Tony Jefferson (@_tonyjefferson) August 11, 2019
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
FORMER WR KELSEY POPE
Coach Drake meant so much to so many. He’ll continue to live through every life that he impacted https://t.co/qocH9OtiOa
— Kelsey Pope (@CoachKelseyPope) August 11, 2019
VP OF MEDIA RELATIONS MARK DALTON
Awful, awful news.
Daryl Drake was Cards receivers coach from 2013-17.
Amazing coach, husband, father, storyteller & all-around awesome person.
So sorry for his family & loved ones. https://t.co/ZkMZPHUOgP
— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) August 11, 2019
Today we mourn the untimely passing of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake. Darryl was the former Bears wide receivers coach under Lovie Smith from 2004-12, including the 2006 Super Bowl appearance.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 11, 2019
FORMER LB LANCE BRIGGS
Shared a lot of genuine laughs with this man over my career. We lost a great one. You are missed Darryl Drake #ripdrake @peanuttillman @BUrlacher54 bobbywadeaz @b_twice @rashieddavis moosemuhammad5 @alexbrown96 https://t.co/7k1FwPIka9
— Lance Briggs (@LanceBriggs) August 11, 2019
FORMER RB THOMAS JONES
— Thomas Q. Jones (@thomasqjones) August 11, 2019
FOMER FB JASON MCKIE
Rest In Heaven Coach Drake! You made the daily grind a joy to be apart of, always there with an open heart to help us in anyway you could on and off the field! The impact you had with every player you touched will last forever!
Heaven Truly Gained an Angel!#RestInHeaven pic.twitter.com/esMXorgz9v
— Jason McKie (@Jmack37) August 11, 2019
FORMER BROADCASTER ZACH ZAIDMAN
Forever indebted to Darryl Drake for always taking the time to help me learn more about football and the men behind the game during my years covering the Bears. He touched so many players during his time at Halas Hall and elsewhere. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family.
— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) August 11, 2019
FORMER LB BRIAN ORAKPO
Just heard the news of Coach Drake. Unbelievable such good man and a true pioneer for African American coaches that thrived collegiately and professionally. RIP Coach Drake
— Brian Orakpo (@rak98) August 11, 2019
FORMER RB ERIC METCALF
Sorry to hear about the passing of coach Darryl Drake, he was a good man and teacher. I had the opportunity to speak with him on many occasions during his coaching tenure @TexasFootball and enjoyed each time! #RIP
— Eric Metcalf (@EricMetcalf21) August 11, 2019
FORMER LB DERRICK JOHNSON
SR. ASSOC. AD/MEDIA RELAIONS JOHN BIANCO
Very sad news out of Pittsburgh with passing of former @TexasFootball asst. coach Darryl Drake. Just an awesome man who mentored some of the best WRs and helped coach many great Texas teams under Mack Brown from 1998-2003. Thoughts & prayers are with his family. RIP Coach Drake🙏🏻 https://t.co/uNlU6idgvv
— John Bianco (@UT_Bianco) August 11, 2019
HEAD COACH TYSON HELTON
My condolences to the family of Darryl Drake. A Western Kentucky playing and coaching great, may he rest in peace.
— Tyson Helton (@Coach_Helton) August 11, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS GM JOHN LYNCH
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Drake Family and to Coach Tomlin and the Steeler Family. God Bless and Rest In Peace Coach Drake. https://t.co/BC4xqoqVRN
— John Lynch (@JohnLynch49ers) August 11, 2019
No Guaranteed Money in Dwayne Haskins’ Low-Risk Steelers Contract
Further details of quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ new contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers have emerged, demonstrating just how low-risk the acquisition is for the club.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Haskins’ Reserve/Future contract with the Steelers is a one-year, $850,000 deal with no guaranteed money.
No bells or whistles to Dwayne Haskins' reserve/future deal with the Steelers: 1-year, $850K, 0 guarantees.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 26, 2021
He's got plenty of money still due from WFT.
This was all about fit for Haskins, with a good chance to develop in Pittsburgh, while the Steelers take a zero risk flier.
Simply put, the Steelers will not be on the hook for any money if they decide to part ways further down the line. If Haskins turns out to be a diamond in the rough for Pittsburgh, they will have acquired him on a tremendous bargain.
Haskins is not getting a raw deal financially either, as he is still being paid on his four-year, $14,416,611 rookie deal with Washington. Signing with the Steelers gives him an opportunity to prove himself with a steady organization without worrying about the financial implications.
A first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Haskins was waived by Washington in late December after the young quarterback was photographed maskless at a strip club, in clear violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols and mid-pandemic common sense.
Haskins was shaky over two seasons in Washington, passing for 12 touchdowns with 14 interceptions, while completing just over 60% of his passes.
The Steelers are hoping Haskins can flash the talent he showed in his final season at Ohio State, where he completed 70% of his passes for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He finished third in Heisman Trophy voting in 2018.
By signing Haskins to such a low-risk, team-friendly contract, Pittsburgh will have an excellent opportunity to determine if some of that talent is still there.
Report: Steelers Interviewing Mike Sullivan for QB Coach Vacancy
The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly interviewing Mike Sullivan for their quarterbacks coach vacancy, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac.
A 17-year coaching veteran at the NFL level, Sullivan was most recently the quarterbacks coach for the Denver Broncos in 2018. He also has previous experience as an offensive coordinator with the New York Giants (2016-17) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-12).
Sullivan is currently the Director of Recruiting at his alma mater Army, a position he has held since March of last year.
Sullivan would also bring additional championship pedigree to the Steelers, having won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI with the Giants.
Former Giants quarterback Eli Manning had one of the best seasons of his career in 2011 under Sullivan, passing for a career-high 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns.
The Steelers are looking to fill the void left by Matt Canada, who was officially promoted to offensive coordinator on Monday.
The Steelers are talking to Mike Sullivan, a long-time former offensive coordinator/QB coach with the NY Giants and Denver Broncos, about becoming their QB coach, per source.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 26, 2021
Mic Drop: Rooting for Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell Is Easy Choice
The idea that either Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell will become a Super Bowl champion after Super Bowl LV isn’t exactly something that makes Steelers fans excited for the big game. With that said, Mike Asti feels deciding who to root for should be an easy choice for Steelers fans. He wants to set the record straight once and for all of why Pittsburgh fans need to stop grouping the two former Steelers together.
While they both left the franchise in a cloud of drama, Le’Veon Bell doesn’t deserve to be treated as if he committed the same kind of sins against the Steelers that Antonio Brown did.