Darryl Drake's funeral took place on Saturday, hours before the Steelers host the Chiefs in their second preseason game. Drake, a longtime NFL receivers coach and a member of Pittsburgh's staff since 2018, died last Sunday at age 62 after reportedly experiencing chest pains the previous night.
On Saturday, the Steelers announced that they will wear the following decal on their helmet honoring Drake for the rest of the 2019 season.
Larry Fitzgerald, who worked with Drake for six seasons in Arizona, spoke at Drake's funeral Saturday.
The Steelers canceled practice last Sunday and Monday before resuming training camp on Tuesday. Ben Roethlisberger, who spoke to the media near the end of the week, explained the immense impact Drake had on him during their time together with the Steelers.
"I only knew him for a year and a half, but I think in that year and a half, he meant more to me than some people that I've known for my whole life," Roethlisberger said. "I know he was a great football coach, but he was an even better man, better husband, better father and a better man of God than he was a football coach. What he brought to this team and to me and to our relationship together was truly something that can never be replicated. He will be very dearly missed, but we know that he's with us and that he's in a better place."
Big Ben spent his week trying to help Pittsburgh's receivers cope with the loss of Drake.
"Just try to be there. Listen," Roethlisberger said when asked how he's tried to help his receivers deal with Drake's death. "I think sometimes that's the best thing you can do for grief and listen. I think so many times we get caught trying to talk and telling people to be OK. But grief isn't about being OK, it's about grieving and talking and communicating. So just trying to be a good communicator and listen."
Roethlisberger noted one of Drake's favorite sayings will continue to serve as a rallying cry for the Steelers throughout the 2019 season.
"The big one he was using, especially this year, was 'Shut out the noise,'" Roethlisberger said. "Everything that's not important, that's not right here, shut it out and focus on what's important and that's this group."
The Steelers' receivers wore hoodies with Drake's quote during pregame warmups on Saturday.
"Coach Drake always called us his sons," Switzer said, per the Steelers' official website. "He didn't have any boys. He always called us his sons. We took that at the beginning of camp. He just called us his sons."
Switzer shared the following photo of Drake with Pittsburgh's receivers just days before his passing.
Switzer, who has already spent time on two NFL teams before finding a home with the Steelers, said that Drake helped him find peace in what has been a hectic start to his career.
"It's not so much things he said. For some reason I just trusted him," Switzer said. "I have had a lot of turnover in my short career. I have had a lot of empty and broken promises. I didn't feel that with Drake. Never did. He was a trustworthy person and so welcoming and warm. I felt that immediately when I got here."