Work continues after forfeit victory
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The Pittsburgh Power ended its six-game losing streak June 8 with a victory against Cleveland.
Well, technically, anyway.
The Power was the beneficiary of a 2-0 forfeit win after the Gladiators' players went on strike as part of the league's ongoing labor dispute.
Even though Cleveland was striking, the Power players were set to play. And they'll take the win.
"It gets the blood flowing, gets the confidence," receiver Mike Washington said of ending the losing streak. "We were prepared to play in Cleveland and we're going to be prepared on Saturday."
The Power (3-9) returns to action tonight at Consol Energy Center against Milwaukee.
Interim head coach Derek Stingley is in his fourth week at the helm, but he has only coached one game thus far. The team had a bye week Stingley's first week in charge and lost in Arizona before the forfeit victory against Cleveland.
Despite the roller-coaster nature of last week, Stingley said at his news conference Wednesday that it was essentially an extra bye week of preparation for a team still looking to find its footing.
Washington said he and other players had some extra energy in practice this week after not playing Friday night.
"We're all professionals, so guys have been taking extra reps," he said. "Me, personally, when I was at the house, I got on the treadmill. I started playing basketball. I felt like I was just out of sync."
The week also gave new offensive coordinator Mike Tomczak, a former Steelers quarterback, more time to learn the intricacies of the arena game. Tomczak, who had no arena football experience prior to this year, joined the Power when Stingley took over as interim head coach.
"He's been great as far as sitting back and asking questions, trying to help out there," quarterback Bryan Randall said of Tomczak. "He's played the quarterback position for a long time and, when it comes down to it, football is football."
Stingley said Tomczak would likely be on the field this week and could assist in the play-calling duties.
The Power fell to Milwaukee, 63-40, March 29, but Washington insists there's nothing to take from that game.
"The Pittsburgh Power early in the season were a different Pittsburgh Power than we are now," he said. "We're a whole new team than when we played Milwaukee [the first time]."
One thing is certain: the games will go on this week. AFLPU lawyer John Stember confirmed Friday that no teams will strike this week. The League and Union have agreed to meet face-to-face today in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
First Published June 16, 2012 12:00 am