NAPA, Calif. -- Jack Del Rio has nearly nine seasons of NFL head-coaching experience. He knows the importance of player involvement.
Thus, one of his first moves as the Oakland Raiders' coach was to establish a leadership council. The players picked eight veterans to run the council and Del Rio will meet with those players once a week for healthy discussion.
"I expect the leaders on this team to step up and take that message forward in the locker room, carry the torch and hold each other accountable," Del Rio said. "It can't be about one guy. It can't be about a head coach mandating that things be a certain way. We want guys to express themselves. We're going to lean on leadership to make sure that the message is being carried out and that the things that we're really all about, why we're here, that they are being carried out."
Del Rio said he had a leadership council in Jacksonville near the end of his tenure that ended late in 2011. He also said John Fox had a leadership council in Denver. Del Rio was the Broncos' defensive coordinator there the past three years.
"I think there's a place for it in terms of helping guys understand your thoughts on things and making sure," Del Rio said. "I think when we understand the 'why,' it's a little easier to buy into the messaging and go at it full force with your full heart."