It sounds like a small thing, nothing as dynamic as instituting a no-huddle offense or promising the defense will blitz on every down in every situation.
But new Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said this week that players will be given a new conditioning, training and nutrition program when they report for the official start of offseason team work.
It goes hand-in-hand with the work that is being done to upgrade the weight room and practice fields at the Raiders facility.
“We’ve got some plans that you’ll see unfold with the weight room and the fields that the players are going to be very excited about when they get back,” Del Rio told reporters. “We want to make sure that everything we’re doing every day gives us an opportunity to win our division and be in position to win championships.”
Del Rio believes the Raiders’ foundation needs to be strong in order for the team to reach its potential, and that facilities and training programs help built that base.
In addition, Del Rio has said he wants the Raiders to be at the “cutting edge” of latest thinking and methods, which is why the team brought in new strength and conditioning coach Joe Gomes and assistants Kevin Kijowski and Wesley Miller. They’ve never worked with an NFL team before, Del Rio told Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group, but Gomes has been director of a company called EXOS, which formerly was known as the Athletes Performance Institute.
“They’re cutting edge in terms of innovation and what we need to do with our team to give them a chance to be their healthiest and at their peak on Sundays,” Del Rio told a group of Bay Area reporters Thursday.
When Del Rio was with the Denver Broncos the past three seasons and when he was head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, another former Athletes Performance Institute coach, Luke Richardson, was with both teams and Del Rio said it made a difference.
“Luke did a great job,” Del Rio said. “I think we’ve kind of gone back to that place and plucked a couple more guys out of there that are really talented. They’re really bright and we have some plans that you’ll see unfold.”