KENNEWICK -- He may be just 5-foot-8, but Tri-Cities Fever wide receiver Steven Whitehead has played big so far in the Indoor Football League season.
As the 4-0 Fever get ready to play host to the Wyoming Cavalry at 7:05 p.m. Friday in the Toyota Center, the speedy Whitehead comes into the game as the league's leading receiver with 33 catches for 298 yards and 10 touchdowns.
But that hasn't surprised the confident Whitehead.
"(Fever quarterback) Houston (Lillard) and I have worked hard in the offseason," he said after the team held a workout in the Toyota Center on Wednesday.
During the regular season in 2011, Whitehead caught 58 passes for 667 yards and 10 touchdowns. That was only third-best on the team, though.
Joey Hew Len led the team with 72 catches, 848 yards and 25 TDs; Tre Young had 59 for 728 yards and 20 TDs.
"Last year we had a great group of receivers," Whitehead said. "Tre started off hot last season, then it was Joey's turn, and then mine. Without Tre and Joey here, I've had to work harder. (New receivers) Ed (Berry) and Gio (Stanley) are kind of looking to me to lead the way."
But Whitehead gets an old partner back this week, as Young -- who signed with the Fever last week -- is ready to play Friday.
"With Tre coming back, maybe that'll open it up for me and take some double teams off of me," Whitehead said with a smile.
It's hard to take your eyes off the receiver during a game.
He has no problem getting into the face of much bigger defenders and talking trash with them.
"I guess I've got Little Man Syndrome," he said. "I don't realize how big everyone else is out on the field until I see the film. But I just take the attitude that you're not gonna hurt me."
Whitehead says that Young is just as good in trash talking with opponents. But he's more interested in seeing him perform on the field.
"As far as Wyoming, it'll be interesting to see how Tre does coming back," Whitehead said.
It'll just be another weapon for Fever quarterback Houston Lillard, who ranks second in QB rating at 114.7, behind Sioux Falls' Chris Dixon and his 153.8. Lillard also has thrown 18 TD passes to just one interception in four games.
But the one stat he likes most is the four victories.
"We have people come up to us and say 'You guys aren't scoring 70 points,'" Lillard said. "That's fine. We just want to win. As long as the scoreboard has more points on our side of it, that's good."
* Fever owner Teri Carr said it wasn't a surprise to some owners when IFL Commissioner Tommy Benizio stepped down to become a part owner of the Allen Wranglers last week.
"Some of us saw it coming," Carr said.
Robert Loving has stepped into the interim commissioner's role, and while the office remains in Richmond, Va., Carr hopes next season the league headquarters are moved into the Midwest, where it would be in a more central location.
Carr doesn't think the league will miss a beat.
"The office staff back there pretty much runs itself," she said. "Mike Allshouse is the director of football operations. He does a pretty good job."
Carr said she and the other owners hope that the IFL can have a new commissioner in place by the end of the season.