Share This Page

Power's Sheffield gets passing grades

| Saturday, June 1, 2013, 12:07 a.m.

In the span of 10 days, Power quarterback Steve Sheffield earned a degree from Texas Tech and led his team to its second victory in three games.

He was pleased with both accomplishments, but he admitted, “I'm not happy with the way I played (in the 55-44 victory last week against the Cleveland Gladiators).”

He stood tall and smiled, however, when he talked about becoming a college graduate. He took time off from Power practice two weeks ago to travel to Lubbock, Texas, and take his last final exam.

“It feels good,” he told reporters about his degree in communications. “Maybe I'll be like you all one day.”

For now, he'll need to be satisfied with possibly reversing the fortunes of the Power's Arena Football League franchise.

If any team needs stability at the game's most important position, it's the Power. In its 2 12-year existence, the team went through 11 mostly unsuccessful quarterbacks before Sheffield joined the team last month.

He spent the past two seasons as a backup in Spokane and San Antonio, but the Power signed him to a three-year contract last year. He chose to remain back home in Texas, however, to earn his degree and help care for his ill grandmother and father.

“It was one of the toughest decisions I made in my life,” he said of missing the Power's first six games.

But coach Derek Stingley was willing to wait for him.

Finally on May 11 — a few days after arriving in Pittsburgh — Sheffield led the Power to a 53-48 victory against the Philadelphia Soul, the first-place team in the American Conference East.

The Power are 2-1 with Sheffield and holding down the second wild-card playoff berth from the American Conference. He has thrown 15 touchdowns and is averaging 278 passing yards after former starter Jordan Jefferson threw for 19 scores and averaged only 198.2 in six games.

“With Sheffield on board, it makes us that much better,” Stingley said.

Sheffield, who has thrown seven interceptions, still is smoothing the wrinkles out of his game. His two interceptions against Cleveland helped put the Power into a 16-point hole.

“I didn't play well at all,” he said.

But he threw three touchdown passes in fewer than eight minutes of the fourth quarter to rally the Power to victory.

The road gets tougher Saturday at Jacksonville where the Power meet quarterback Bernard Morris and the Sharks, who lead the American Conference South with a 7-3 record.

“It's all about keeping your head down and working,” Sheffield said.

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.