Derek Stingley has first press conference as Power Head Coach


The Pittsburgh Power held their weekly press conference for the media on Wednesday and I attended. It was my first experience getting to meet Interim Head Coach Derek Stingley. Here was what he had to say:

Opening Statement: “This is my first time doing this this year under the circumstances. I am happy to be in this position, but the way it all came about, that’s not the way that any coach would want to become a head coach. Things are business as usual, we do need to move forward. It’s unfortunate that Coach Seigfried is no longer with us, him and I had a great relationship, but at the same time we’re in this business as coaches, understanding that as the head coach, we are more accountable than the players about wins and losses. Naturally that is in the back of our heads and if the team is not successful, then there is a chance that there could be a change… I’ve  been successful just as Coach Seigfried has in the past and I’ve been a head coach and understand what it takes to lead a team. I’m most definitely ready to lead this team for the remaining eight regular season games, with plans of maybe getting to the playoffs. As the saying goes, we are playing one game at a time and our primary focus right now is on Arizona.”

On his message to the team the first he spoke to them as the head coach: “We all need to be accountable not just as coaches but as players. As coaches it is our job to put the players in the best situation to become playmakers but as coaches we’re not playing the game. We’re not throwing the passes, we’re not making the tackles, we’re not fumbling the ball, so if we do our job and we do it well, then every play means something, not just saying ‘hey let’s win this quarter’. I am telling the players to win every play, take it like it is your last play and play it to your best. If we win that play, then we’ll win that series and if we win that series, then maybe we win that quarter, if we win that quarter, we win that half and win both halves then as a team we should win the whole game.”

On how players are handling transition: “These guys have been around me since Training Camp, and I have known some of these guys well before this year. They know my coaching style and that I am all about production. I’m quick to stop something and get it done right. I don’t think any player likes to get embarrassed, not to say I would embarrass them but I want them to be able to make sure that what we’re doing is the correct way of doing it. Let’s not just look over it and say we’ll get it right on game day. In my mind, practice is way more important than game day. These players know that I am easy to deal with, but at the same time I am tough as well.”

On if there is a noticeable change in practice: “We’ve only had one practice since the change. Yesterday’s practice went great. They liked the rhythm of it. We stayed on schedule with a lot of things and we went over some fundamentals putting a big emphasis on ball security. Defensively we did the same things we’ve been doing since the first 10 games. Offensively we actually had to shorten up our playbook a little bit, but our goal on the offensive side of the ball is to make sure that whatever plays we’re running to whatever coverage, as quarterbacks we know where to go with the ball, and that’s kind of what we went through yesterday.”

On how involved he will be in the offense: “Early on I will be heavily involved, I’ll be calling the plays. Coach Tomczak has been there with me during the bye week, like a sponge, he really wants to get involved in the aspect of offense but at the same time he knows he’s learning. My intentions are to actually allow him to call the plays, but only when I’m comfortable and I don’t know when that will be so I won’t put a timetable on it. As of right now, I will be calling the offense and the defense.”

Latest on the quarterback situation: “We took a look at both of those guys [Bill Stull and Andrico Hines] yesterday and they both looked great. The league allowed us to look at them for a day even though they’re still on injured reserve. One looked a little better than the other, I just don’t want to bring that out right now, but I can tell you that Bryan Randall will our starting quarterback.”

On Randall’s fumbles issues: “When you look at the fumbles he’s had this year, it was more about protection breaking down and he was trying to get out of the pocket to make the play. What Randall needs to understand is that even though the pocket breaks down, if he can’t get the ball downfield in one of the playmakers hands, then give a souvenir to someone. Once he works on that and just saying we can live to play another down, the fumbles will probably be no issue with him. He is a guy that wants to make that big play and wants to throw the ball downfield. He is used to winning, so when we went behind, all he’s thinking about is ‘hey I’ve got to make a play’. He’s trying to get that extra yard or two. I am okay with him getting that extra yard or two, but ball security is a must.”

Any major roster changes: “I believe the guys we have in our locker room are guys that are very competitive and they want to win. We have a lot of great players and they’re very competitive. My opinion on changing the roster right now is that we’re going to go with what we have because these guys understand the system, they understand me as a coach. Even though I am in this new position I’ve still been here all year. At this point in the game, if we bring in a new guy or try to have this revolving door, these players have to get to know me, and I have to get to know them. I’m a little different at times and you’ve got to show me and if I don’t get it out of you, we’ll have a revolving door for the remainder of the year. I’ve been around these players long enough that I know what they can and can’t do. One of the messages that I sent to all of the players and coaches during the first meeting was to talk about all of their weaknesses. The vast majority of those players I knew their weaknesses before they even told me. I know them that much from being around them this year, but if I had a new player in, then I would have to be all ears since I wouldn’t know anything about them.”

On facing Arizona Rattlers QB Nick Davila: “Nick is a tough opponent, I have played him twice. He does a lot of good things with the ball, he knows exactly what to do with the ball and he has some great receivers. Naturally the biggest thing is that we hopefully get a lot of pressure. If you get pressure on any quarterback, in this league, then the defense will wind up winning that play. The things that I am going to throw at Nick are what everyone else does. Arizona has a great offense and they do a lot of different things.”

On desire to perhaps become the full time head coach: “It’s all about this season at this moment. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a time when that may take place, but we need to get wins and next year can’t help us win this year. To be honest, no I have not discussed that with anyone. When that time comes, yes I’ll be all ears. I am in this game to coach and naturally as coaches, we don’t just set off to be assistant coaches, we always enjoy the opportunity to become head coaches.”