I spoke to several members of the Oakland Raiders' organization, and they said coach Hue Jackson delivered an emotional address to the team Saturday morning, informing them of owner Al Davis' passing.
Jackson first informed the team captains of Davis' passing Saturday morning at the team hotel in Houston as they prepare to face the Texans on Sunday.
Jackson gathered the entire team following a special-teams meeting that took place at 9:30 a.m. CT.
"Coach was very emotional," one player said. "He was really, really close with Mr. Davis. It's really tough right now for the entire Raider organization."
Several players choked up when they heard the news. Even though Davis' health was declining, the news surprised them. Davis had "an open-door policy" with players, they said, and many had regular conversations with the owner.
"We had his number, and he was always willing to talk to us about whatever was on your mind," one player told me.
Davis hadn't been traveling as much in recent years, with the team or to league meetings. Players noticed Davis wasn't on the field as frequently for training camp or regular-season practices. But they didn't expect today's news.
"It caught everybody by surprise," a player said. "We all owe him a lot. It's definitely going to be tough for us on Sunday, and it's going to be an emotional game, but we have to give it all we have for him."