Mike Tomlin says Team is ‘Devastated’ Over Loss of Coach Darryl Drake

Adds Drake’s loss is significant

Jeff Hathhorn
August 13, 2019 - 12:45 pm

Related: Steelers WR Coach Darryl Drake Passes Away

LATROBE (93.7 the Fan) – “We’re all devastated.  I really can’t think of any other appropriate words.”

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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday describing the emotions of an organization dealing with the sudden loss of Wide Receivers Coach Darryl Drake suddenly on Sunday.

“Professionally, obviously, the loss is significant, but personally it’s even bigger,” Tomlin said.  “Those of us who had personal relationships with Coach Drake feel that way.”

Tomlin said they are working to support Drake’s wife, three daughters and two grandchildren along with all of his family.  Tomlin said many in the Steelers have spent time with the family and described them as ‘amazing’.

The Steelers have employed grief counselors for any who need as Tomlin said “counselors are not for the weak, but for the wise”.

The 12 year Steelers coach met Drake in 1997 when he was the offensive coordinator at Baylor, while Tomlin was a receivers coach at Arkansas. 

“I was politely aggressive in building a relationship with him,” Tomlin recalled.  “He probably didn’t have a choice, that’s how he would describe it, in terms of being my friend.”

The team said they will continue to honor the memory of their second year receivers coach who Tomlin called “a strong Christian brother”, but won’t go into details right now.  Tomlin also said it’s not the appropriate time to discuss a successor to Drake.

“Coaching was Coach Drake’s platform for ministry,” Tomlin said.  “He wore many hats.  Coaching was his vocation, but he was a father, a mentor, a brother, an advisor, like we all are in a lot of ways to the men that he worked with; not only now, but over the coach of his career which spanned decades.”

Asked if getting back to practice will help bring some normalcy to what has happened or help them move on.

“I don’t know that it does, but we have professional obligations,” Tomlin said.  “So we intend to march.”

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