Earlier this week, the Pittsburgh Steelers returned to training camp following the sudden death of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake. The team spent two days away from the field to support Drake’s family and spend time healing.
The 62-year-old Drake was hired by the Steelers in 2018. Overall, he had been an assistant in the NFL since 2004.
Nearly a week ago, Drake passed away after going to the hospital complaining of chest pain. He passed all tests and then left the hospital before his untimely death.
His loss hit the Steelers hard.
Heartbreaking photos from practice show star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster being consoled by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Weather forced the team to end practice early.
Powerful images of Ben Roethlisberger consoling JuJu Smith-Schuster the first day back at camp after the sudden death of Steelers WR coach Darryl Drake.
— ESPN (@espn) August 14, 2019
To honor Drake, the Steelers announced on Saturday afternoon that the team will wear a helmet decal with his initials on it.
We will wear this decal on our helmets this season in honor of Coach Darryl Drake. pic.twitter.com/bj6JZhH0aU
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 17, 2019
Head coach Mike Tomlin said the team is devastated by the loss of their coach and friend. “Professionally, obviously the loss is significant, but personally it’s even bigger,” Tomlin said this week.
Pittsburgh faces off against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night, the first game in which they’ll showcase the decal.
The Steelers and Chiefs kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network.