By Matt Popchock
The second round of open tryouts held by the Pittsburgh Power at the Southpointe Fieldhouse Sunday was an abbreviated one. Still, the Arena Football League team had time to work out about forty former college football players of differing backgrounds, and one of them may be joining the team soon.
Head coach Chris Siegfried is generally mum on player transactions until they are complete, but on Monday he hinted the team may be looking to add another member to its receiving corps, which is already five deep.
Although the Power’s offense labored through consistency issues in its first-ever AFL season, the receivers were arguably the team’s greatest asset. All five–yes, five–quarterbacks who started for the team during the 2011 campaign always had options, and each of their regular wideouts were productive.
It already appears to be a dangerous group going into the 2012 season, as Mike Washington and Lonnell DeWalt, two of the team’s leaders, have returned, and 2011 Ironman of the Year P.J. Berry has come over from the New Orleans VooDoo. Washington led the team in yardage and touchdowns, and DeWalt had the second-most TD’s, while Berry set a league record for single-season all-purpose yardage. Joining them in training camp will be rookies Carlos Suggs and Darius Passmore.
However, fellow receivers Jason Willis and Jerome Mathis, two members of last year’s team with notable NFL experience, are not under contract, so if, in fact, there is a receiver who has drawn serious interest from the Power, especially one who was an impact player in the NCAA and/or another indoor league, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they made that signing. Last season nine different (pure) wide receivers recorded at least one catch for the Power, and eight of them had at least one touchdown.
The Power have less than ten spots to fill on its 35-man preseason roster before camp begins. We’ll have more on that as it develops.
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