New-look Power are looking for redemption tonight
By Jerry DiPaola, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Consider what erupted in the life of Power coach Chris Siegfried during the past week.
His expansion team lost its Arena Football League opener in overtime to the Philadelphia Soul, wasting a big lead and determined comeback effort.
Four days later, Power starting quarterback Bernard Morris arrived at practice with a sore throwing arm. Practice didn't go well, and Siegfried seethed.
"Between the second half of (the Soul game) and (Tuesday's) practice, it was probably two of the worst offensive performances I have experienced in my career," Siegfried said.
"It was absolutely horrible offensively," he said of practice, one of only three for the Power for their game tonight against the Iowa Barnstormers at Consol Energy Center. "Absolutely embarrassing. It looked like the first day of camp. Actually, the first day of camp was better."
Morris, who completed his first 11 passes and then threw three interceptions against the Soul, remained confident he would play against the Barnstormers.
"It's not 1,000 percent, but it's getting better," Morris said. "I'm not missing this game."
He will get no argument from Siegfried.
"Morris will be fine," he said.
Siegfried said the Power's practice performance improved gradually all week. He tinkered with his defense, releasing starting nose tackle Terrance Reese and backup linebacker Caleb Bostic to make room for former Aliquippa and Pitt defensive back Josh Lay and Darius Robinson, a 6-foot-2, 320-pound defensive lineman.
Lay will get plenty of playing time against the Barnstormers, with Royce Adams nursing an ankle sprain.
With new faces on defense, the key for the Power will be putting pressure on quarterback Brad Banks, who played at the University of Iowa and finished second to Carson Palmer in the 2002 Heisman Trophy voting.
Siegfried likes his chances, if defensive ends Neil Purvis and Terrance Carter continue their pesky play. Carter had a sack and quarterback hurry against the Soul; Carter recorded a hurry.
"We were impressed with Pittsburgh's pass rush, and a big key to our offense is going to be trying to shut them down," Iowa coach John Gregory said.
Tonight's game will be the first for the Barnstormers, another concern for Siegfried.
"They know what we are going to do, and we don't know what they are going to do," he said. "We can guess offensively. They have a lot of personnel back from last year, but defensively they have a brand new secondary.
"We have no idea what kind of athletes they have."
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