Week 13 Preview
A Storm is Coming
As the 2-8 Power travel to Phoenix to take on the high-flying Arizona Rattlers this Saturday, a new era will begin for Pittsburgh. With the departure of Chris Siegfried as head coach, Derek Stingley takes over as Interim Head Coach for the Power.
Stingley said the players are all behind him as they progress through the season and look to string some wins together with the playoffs not completely out of reach.
“Things are business as usual,” Stingley said. “We do need to move forward. I understand what it takes to lead a team and I’m most definitely ready to lead this team.”
The Power are coming off of a 43-37 loss to the previously winless Kansas City Command giving them five straight losses. In his first game at head coach, Stingley has a tough first week ahead of him with Arizona who is riding a three-game winning streak behind last year’s AFL MVP at quarterback, Nick Davila.
“Nick has always been a tough opponent,” Stingley said. “He knows exactly what to do with the ball. He has some great receivers.”
Davila is averaging 302.1 yards per game with 61 touchdowns on the season. His favorite receiver has been former AFL Breakout Player of the Year, Maurice Purify, who has 88 receptions and 38 touchdowns.
Stingley said that getting pressure on Davila will be the key to his league’s third overall defense’s success.
“You get pressure on any quarterback in this league, the defense will end up winning that play,” he said.
Defensive lineman Dominie Pittman will be one of the guys up front, along with Neil Purvis, Justin Parrish and Terrence Taylor that will be involved in pass rushing Davila.
“They’ve got a great offense,” Pittman said. “Everybody up front has to have motors. We have a good game plan, so I’m just ready to see how it’s going to turn out.”
Putting the reigning MVP on his back is definitely part of Pittman’s game plan as well.
“That’s all I want to do is hit him,” he said. ”That will make my night. I might not get a sack, but if I hit him a couple times, I’m happy.”
With all of the turnover occurring and the margin in team records, nobody seems to give Pittsburgh a chance Saturday night against the Rattlers. Pittman says he feeds off of material like that.
“I’ll be the underdog any day,” he said. “Because nobody is expecting the storm that’s about to happen. I like what’s going on right now. We’re going to come out and surprise them.”
Former Steelers quarterback Mike Tomczak takes over as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator. Still a student of the game, he will learn under Stingley and ease his way into play calling duties. Tomczak has been key at practice as the team, especially the quarterbacks, worked heavily on fundamentals.
Andrico Hines has been taken off injured reserve with Derek Cassidy being placed on it. Hines will back up Bryan Randall who is averaging 270 yards per game in his first four starts at quarterback.
During a one-minute drill, excitement was high as the offense was flagged for a delay of game and Randall was sacked on the final play giving the defense the win. Stingley’s defense was able to stop the offense both times during the drill.
Quotes of the Week
Emphasis on fundamentals has been high this week and Coach Stingley says he won’t hesitate to stop practice and make sure something is done right before moving on.
“I want them to be able to make sure that what we’re doing is the correct way of doing it. In my mind, practice is way more important than game day.”
Dominie Pittman says the morale is high behind Coach Stingley and won’t give up the remainder of the season.
“If we can turn this thing around we can go 10-8. It’s still possible. So if they’re sleeping on us, that means they’re practicing lazy while we’re working hard. We’re going to sneak up and surprise them.”
Coach Tomczak knows what he want’s to see out of his players as he becomes more accustomed to the indoor game.
“I just want to see these guys play with great effort, emotion and toughness. If we can capture those few things right there, it will restore that Pittsburgh Power mentality.”
Arizona Rattlers (8-3)
Last Game: W at New Orleans 69-45
Player to Watch: Odie Armstrong- Putting Davila or Purify is too easy. Instead, watch out for Arizona’s rush attack with Odie Armstrong who is second in the league. Armstrong is also ranked 12th all -time in rushing yards and 23rd all-time with rushing touchdowns.
Game Time: Kickoff from US Airways Center is 10 p.m. on Saturday night. The game can be watched on our Ustream page or on The Pittsburgh CW.