The Pittsburgh Power signed their first player, quarterback Bernard Morris, to a contract, Power coach Chris Siegfried said today.
Morris, a quarterback at Marshall from 2003 to 2007, played for Siegfried for the AFL's Arkansas Twisters in 2009, where Siegfried was the head coach, and for the AFL's Jacksonville Sharks in 2010, where Siegfried was the offensive coordinator.
Siegfried said he told Morris when he left Jacksonville to join the Power that he would call Morris as soon as he was a free agent, and the desire to have Morris join the Power was mutual.
"It's probably the happiest I've seen him since I've known him," Siegfried said of Morris signing the contract.
The 6-foot-4, 211-pound Morris played quarterback, receiver, linebacker and special teams for the Sharks. He backed up long-time AFL quarterback Aaron Garcia, the all-time leader in touchdown passes in AFL history.
"When I signed him [to Pittsburgh] we kind of joked around, he said, 'Coach, I guess my special teams days are over,' " Siegfried said. " 'For right now, yeah, you're the quarterback. That's what I want you to do.' "
Siegfried plans to bring another quarterback to training camp and challenge Morris, but Morris will enter camp as the starter.
Siegfried said Morris' former teammates have expressed interest in joining him in Pittsburgh because of his quiet leadership style.
"Guys respond to that," Siegfried said. "A lot of guys from Jacksonville want to play. He plays hard and gives it everything he's got and guys admire guys who play that way."
Bill Brink: email@example.com or 412-263-1158.