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Steelers WRs Grieving Loss of ‘Amazing Role Model’ in Darryl Drake

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are grieving on Sunday as they deal with the unexpected death of one of their most beloved coaches.

Veteran NFL coach Darryl Drake was only entering his second season with the Steelers when he passed away at age 62 on Sunday morning, but he had already made a deep and last impact on several of the Steelers’ players.

As expected, that included star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, one of Drake’s top proteges, who said he was shocked by the news he received on Sunday.

“[I] was at a loss for words when I heard the news,” Smith-Schuster wrote on Instagram on Sunday afternoon. “Coach Drake was honestly my favorite coach that I’ve ever had in this game, he taught me so much about football and especially about how to go about life. Coach was an amazing role model not just for myself, but for a lot of people who he touched.

“I wish I could see you just one more time. It won’t be the same out there on the field, in meetings, and I’m gonna miss all those long talks we used to have. We all know you want us to be successful and to play to win. Thank you for all the memories and life lessons you’ve taught me. Forever in my heart! Love you man. Rest In Peace Coach Drake.”

Rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson, who Drake had argued for during the Steelers’ draft meetings, echoed similar thoughts.

“Man I’m lost for words,” Johnson said on Instagram. “MY GUY you taught me so much and I appreciate you for staying on me. You were blessing to me coach and I’ll never forget how you joked around with us in the WR room all the time! Things won’t be the same but we damn sure not stopping here. We got sum to prove for you. Watch over me coach.”

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Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy said that Drake was in an NFL coaches prayer circle, and former Steelers wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey showed how Drake used his faith as a guide for his coaching.

Here’s more from some other current Steelers on the loss of Drake:

WR DONTE MONCRIEF

“I’ll forever respect and remember you as a Coach and as a Man.. You changed the way I looked at Football and Life.. I’ll never forget the Bible scriptures you would read everyday to the Room.. The day you called me out in the room and said “ Crief read me John 3:16.” I started to read it off my phone and you said “ I’m gone tell your daddy you should know that.” I didnt know you Long but the time I did you Impacted my life on and off the field.. Coach Drake fly high over us and be Our Angel On and Off the field. Love you Coach.. last thing.. we will “Shut Out The Noise” #FlyHighCoachD”

DE CAMERON HEYWARD

WR TEVIN JONES
LB T.J. WATT

QB JOSH DOBBS

CB STEVEN NELSON

RB COACH EDDIE FAULKNER

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