Power in search of stability headed into offseason
By Jerry DiPaola
Published: Sunday, July 28, 2013, 7:51 p.m.
The Power's return for a fourth season in the Arena Football League has been encouraged and endorsed by commissioner Jerry Kurz.
Owner Matt Shaner has all but sworn on his family's hotel fortune that the team will be back at Consol Energy Center in 2014.
If all that holds true, Power management has only one task remaining: fielding a successful and stable team.
“We have to get to work and get to work now,” coach Derek Stingley said.
After losing to the Spokane Shock, 61-43, on Friday night, the Power finished with a 4-14 record, one game worse than last season. Overall in the past two years, the Power have lost three-fourths of their games (27 of 36) — more than that if you don't count the forfeit victory in Cleveland last year.
Stingley spent most of Sunday afternoon conducting exit interviews with 26 players, many of whom are planning to return if the team will have them, he said.
The Power's biggest problem was instability at the offensive coordinator position. Stingley seized play-calling responsibilities from two assistants: Mike Tomczak, who was fired, and Jon Lyles, who replaced Tomczak.
Stingley said Lyles won't return next season.
“I felt like I didn't need an extra guy,” said Stingley, who will hire another offensive coordinator in the offseason.
The Power also used four quarterbacks. Steven Sheffield, who signed a three-year contract last offseason, played in only seven games because of family issues and a concussion.
“When he left, we kind of dropped off a little bit,” Stingley said. “I thought that the players truly accepted him as a leader.”
Stingley expects Sheffield to return next season along with four others who signed three-year deals: wide receiver Mike Washington, linebacker Alvin Ray Jackson, offensive lineman Beau Elliott and defensive lineman Dominie Pittman.
Washington was one of the AFL's best players with 136 receptions for 1,595 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Stingley, who is 7-19 since replacing former coach Chris Siegfried 14 months ago, has one year left on his contract.
“We have to sit down and talk about some things,” he said. “But all signs point that I'll be back.”
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
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