Graphics: Igor Lazarevic Photos: K&K Photography
the Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants are on a roll in the Austrian Football League and the combination of former NFL recipient Darrell Adams Jr. and quarterback Conor Miller turned the giants as pretenders.
Adams lead the AFL in reception classes and Miller is the number two passer. This is not how the season started even though it was supposed to.
To put it simply, the giants opened the year with a whimper. The opening of the season was against the Danube Dragons which seemed to expose all their weaknesses. Adams Jr. and Miller had been defined to be the main attractions of the Giants, but after all the hype the duo came out flat and Graz lost the match 35-16. Graz seemed to disappear from the radar in the weeks that followed and were expected to end the league in the bottom half of the table.
Fast forward six weeks, pull out a head coach and we take a look at the most dominant QB / WR duo in the Austrian league. Coming into week five on 6’3, 225 pounds Adams used his superior size and speed to amass 538 yards and seven touchdowns in just four games, over 200 yards ahead of the next player on the table; while Miller threw for 1,047 yards and 12 touchdowns. It is not surprising that the recent dominant performances of the two imports parallel the success of the giants have had as a whole. Graz the schedule eased after week two, but the defense now has a new intensity, leaving just 14 points in the last two games, down from 80 points in the first two.
This success was perhaps as surprising as the unexpected dismissal of the head coach. Martin kocian after just two games, league members questioned the stability of the organization. But the team rebounded with head coach responsibilities shared between offensive and defensive coordinators Daniel Schönet and Brandon Gorsuch.
Adams explains the transition from week 1 to week 5:
I would say it was totally different. As far as the atmosphere, the environment in training, the level at which we are competing, even in training, it’s been more intense and faster, and the guys are competing. So I think the mentality has changed. I don’t mean we were complacent before but it felt like we lose we will get them next week but there wasn’t really any motivation or motivation behind it and I feel like our new staff coaches. and the team leaders assumed this role.
The first week promised something special with Adams and Florida Atlantic (DI) Alumni Miller, but something was missing. Mistakes and frustration seemed to define the relationship.
Miller talks about the catalyst for change for the pair:
The catalyst actually comes from the work we have done together. We watch movies together three or four hours a day with Coach Brandon, be it our adversaries movie. It’s really precious to see something together and for me to be able to tell Darrell how I want him to run a certain route against a certain cover or he can tell me how he likes certain balls thrown. Between that and going out into the field in the morning on our weeks off and working the routes, we really got to feel comfortable with each other and established some great chemistry.
The connection between the two has fermented into a weapon that should leave any opponent wary – the ability to score at any time from any point on the pitch. Graz this weekend’s opponent is arguably one of the best teams in Europe, period. the Dacia Vienna Vikings come off an 82-7 victory over Serbia The boars of Kragujevac in their Central European Football League tournament first round after defeating Austrian central on Swarco Raiders last month. Adams think it can play giants advantage:
They are the best at the moment. And we have a mindset, we are outsiders. And so we have a reason to fight, no matter if we just got a win or a loss, it doesn’t matter, we always feel like we have something to prove. And I never felt it was good enough. And so whatever happens, whatever the stats from last week, I’m not focusing on that. It’s like how can I improve myself and help us get this win.
And so the mentality is just to be dominant and to break the will of our opponent. It’s a good team and stuff like that. But I think we’re starting to have some confidence and some bragging about ourselves, where we know we can play with these great teams is pretty much run every chance we get.
the Vienna Vikings are undoubtedly the favorites to win five clashes this week, but they’ll be naive to think that they don’t have to worry about the two most dangerous offensive weapons in the world. Austrian Soccer. Graz have been sneaking up on excellence since the middle of the season. Don’t be surprised if it’s anyone’s half-time game again this Saturday.
Make sure to watch the game on AFI.tv at 1 p.m. CEST.