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Backup QB could help Power offense

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POWER GAMEDAY

at Soul

7:05 p.m. Saturday,

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

TV/radio: ThisTV/TribLive Radio

Records: Power 1-5, Soul 3-3

Notable: The Soul have drawn 21,338 people to their two home games compared to 24,594 who have attended the Power's four games at Consol Energy Center. ... The Soul lost their two games at Wells Fargo Center by a total of nine points but recovered last week to beat the Chicago Rush, 72-41. ... The Power signed kicker Julian Rauch, whose 24-yard field goal with 26 seconds left completed Appalachian State's 34-32 upset of Michigan in 2007. They also added receiver James Robinson, who has been with the practice squads of the Dolphins, Browns and Redskins. ... The Power released kicker Josh Czajkowski and placed receiver Perry Baker and defensive back Darrell Wolford on injured reserve.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, May 10, 2013, 12:42 p.m.
 

For the second time this season, the Power are doing something about their feeble offense. This time, perhaps, the attempt will yield more positive results.

Power coach Derek Stingley, who hired offensive assistant Jon Lyles after the season's first three games, put starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson's job in jeopardy, activating Steve Sheffield, formerly of Texas Tech, for the game Saturday at the Philadelphia Soul.

Stingley wouldn't commit to inserting Sheffield into the starting lineup, but Sheffield is expected to play.

“We thought we needed an upgrade at the position, and we want to see if he can come in and help us,” Stingley said.

Sheffield, activated Thursday, spent the past few days trying to learn the Power's offense from Lyles, who has taken over many of coordinator Mike Tomczak's duties.

Stingley warned that his new quarterback is “a work in progress.”“You can't cure everything in week,” he said.

The Power had signed Sheffield to a three-year contract in November, but he chose to remain in his hometown of Lubbock, Texas, where his grandmother and father were ill.

“He was the first guy we signed in the offseason to be our quarterback,” Stingley said.

Stingley kept in contact with Sheffield, who finally agreed to come to Pittsburgh this week.

Unlike Jefferson, Sheffield has experience in indoor football, serving as a backup in Spokane and San Antonio the past two seasons. Prior to that, he had limited opportunities at Texas Tech but completed 134 of 194 attempts for 1,578 yards and 17 touchdowns during the 2009 and '10 seasons.

The Power (1-5) are last in the Arena Football League in scoring (33.8 points per game) and next to last in passing yards per game (205.8).

“We've been hot and cold,” Stingley said. “More cold than hot. We need to be steady.”

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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