Steelers WRs coach Drake dies suddenly at 62

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake died suddenly at age 62 on Sunday, the team announced.

The team did not disclose a cause of death. The Steelers canceled their training camp practices on Sunday and Monday.

"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," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement.

"Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Sheila, his three daughters, his grandchildren and entire family during this difficult time."

Drake's coaching career spanned nearly four decades, starting as a Western Kentucky graduate assistant in 1983 before he worked his way into the NFL ranks. Drake was entering his second season as the Steelers' wide receivers coach after being hired in January 2018. He was an assistant coach for 16 years in the NFL, also serving as wide receivers coach for the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals.

Former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs added on Instagram: "Shared a lot of genuine laughs with this man over my career. We lost a great one. You are missed Darryl Drake."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians got choked up Sunday when asked about Drake's death. Drake coached receivers with the Cardinals under Arians from 2013 to 2017.

"The world lost a great person," Arians said Sunday. "Not just a great coach, but a great person, great father, husband, grandfather. He's a father figure to a lot of players. He's had some great players, but he was their dad. Just having spent all that time pregame seeing him, and to think that he's gone, is just really hard to fathom. Prayers and condolences out to his family."

Drake was well-liked throughout the Steelers organization for his bright personality, football acumen and caring nature. During practices, everyone from his receivers to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would constantly chat him up on the sideline or between drills. Drake was known for his colorful one-liners during practices, often telling his players, "Don't drag the toe, click it" during sideline-catch work.

Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster posted 100-catch seasons in Drake's first and only full season in Pittsburgh.

Smith-Schuster tweeted that "Coach Drake was honestly my favorite coach that I've ever had in this game."

"Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. "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."

ESPN's Jenna Laine contributed to this report.