The Oakland Raiders have their captains for the 2015 season – on offense it's quarterback Derek Carr and fullback Marcel Reece, and on defense it will be defensive end Justin Tuck and safety Charles Woodson.
Head Coach Jack Del Rio revealed the names during his Wednesday press conference, three days before the team is set to kick off the regular season against the Cincinnati Bengals at O.co Coliseum.
The players voted on whom to elect as their captains, and the four selections make sense – Carr is the quarterback of now and the future, Reece is a three-time Pro Bowler, Tuck has won two Super Bowls and Woodson is putting the finishing touches on a Hall of Fame career.
"It means a lot to me," Reece said Wednesday. "It means the most to me, really, when you have your peers that vote you as a leader and think of you that high. I'm truly humbled."
Carr echoed his teammate's sentiment and said that being named a captain is not something he takes lightly.
"It means the world to me," Carr said. "It meant a lot to me to see the other guys make it. I know it means something to them. I think that those guys that the team chose, those other three, were great choices, because those are our leaders."
While Reece, Tuck, and Woodson are all veteran players, with Pro Bowls and Super Bowl titles to their names, entering just his second year in the NFL, Carr is the junior member of the elected captains.
However, his new head coach has no concerns about the young signal caller taking charge of the team.
"I think it comes natural for him," Head Coach Del Rio said. "We're not asking anybody to be someone they're not. We want our guys to express themselves and be who they are and collectively buy into the idea of being unselfish and together on the same page fighting for a common goal."
That common goal is to come together Sundays and win games, and entering his second year as the starting quarterback in Oakland, Carr feels better equipped to help make that goal a reality.
"I would say this year compared to last year, I know how to deal with each person differently," Carr said. "Last year, I just knew that we had to execute at a certain level and if it didn't get there, you react a certain way. But not everyone needs to react that way towards it. Not everyone needs that. I think [I'm] a lot more even-keeled this year."
The Raiders will rely heavily on their young quarterback, but his co-captain Reece believes Carr in his second season is more than equipped to handle the pressure.
"I tell Derek every day, how proud I am of him and his growth," Reece said. "He was an extremely mature rookie year and he played really well for us, and we're happy with that, [now] he's extremely mature as a second-year player."