Dylan Potts is the ‘X-Factor’ for Danube Dragons

Quarterback #10 Dylan Potts is leading Vienna’s Danube Dragons in 2017.

Danube head coach Stefan Pokorny is excited to land a playmaker like Potts for the Dragons’ Austrian Football League (AFL) season.

“We are very happy that Dylan Potts moves to the Danube Dragons,” said Pokorny. “He has been our dream player since the beginning, and he is a very athletic playmaker.”

This will be the second season in Europe for the 24-year-old playmaker. In 2015, he played 13 games in the German Football League (GFL) for the Stuttgart Scorpions, nine at quarterback. His stats were impressive. Potts threw for 2,038 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Scorpions. In addition, he racked up 1,073 rushing and 14 touchdowns.

In 2016, Potts signed a contract with a team in the fledging National Gridiron League (NGL), an Australian professional football league. When the league decided to postpone it’s inaugural 2017 season Potts was left high and dry and out of football for the season.

Potts began his college career in 2010 as a quarterback for the University of Akron (D-I) before switching to the wide receiver in 2011. Potts was also used as a punt and kick returner. In 2013, he transferred to the West Liberty University (D-II), where he quickly established himself starting 22 games in two years.

American Football International caught up with Dylan Potts after the Dragons 37-0 week two win over the Traun Steelsharks.

AFI: Hi Dylan! How did you come to sign with Danube?

Potts: I was contacted by head coach Stefan Pokorny in early November and he expressed great interest in me right away. We talked very often over the next two months, and it felt just like a great fit for myself as a player. And of course living in the city of Vienna is pretty great itself too.

AFI: The Dragons are 1-1 so far this year after a tough opening loss to the Rangers and big win versus Traun. What are your thoughts on how the season has started for the Dragons?

Potts: Obviously losing the first game of the season was a bit disappointing but we took away a lot of positives from that game. It was great to have our team respond with a 37-0 victory coming off a loss. I believe it shows the team’s character on how they respond after a loss, are you going to sulk over it? Or are you going to get back to work and get back on the right road of winning games? And I believe we responded very well

AFI: Since you played in Germany with the Stuttgart Scorpions, how would you describe the differences between American football in the AFL and GFL?

Potts: Honestly the only difference I have noticed between the two leagues is the number of imports teams have, I believe in Germany there are more imports than here in Austria. But I think AFL and the GFL are very similar in competition and the league as a whole. I’ve been very impressed with the AFL as a league in general and I believe both the GFL and the AFL are very similar.

AFI: The AFL has quite a few strong teams (Swarco Raiders, Vienna Vikings, Graz Giants, Ljubljana Silverhawks). What does Danube need to do to compete and beat these clubs?

Potts: The AFL has a lot of great teams in the league this year which makes it fun because generally every week any team can compete with anyone. To me there’s no easy weeks or easy games, you have to come out every game with your best effort to win. I believe in our team a lot, I know we’re going to be one of the top teams in the AFL. We have some very talented guys on our team and we have a very good coaching unit. I think as long as we can keep improving each week as a team and as individual position groups in practice and each game that we’re going to be a very good team. As long as we do that there’s not a team in the league we can’t compete with and beat.

AFI: What are your goals for 2017? What do you think you personally and professionally bring to a club like the Dragons?

Potts: My goals for the 2017 season are the highest, win a AFL championship, that’s what myself, Jack Moro, and Coach Gene Alim were brought here to do. Coach Pokorny has made that the vision from the first time I talked to him. Do whatever we need to do to win.

I believe I bring a lot to the table as a player for the Dragons. I bring that electrifying ‘x-factor’ to the field every time I touch the ball. In our offense, we can beat teams with the running game just as we can beat teams with the passing game. But at the end of the day it’s all about winning, whether that’s us winning 65-64 or us winning 3-0, it’s a team effort and winning is winning.

AFI: Great. Any final thoughts on the season or highlights off the field for you personally? What are you enjoy most about playing football in Vienna?

Potts: I mostly enjoy the comradery of the team and how the team welcomed me in from day one. To me what gets better than playing football on a great team in a foreign country!

Photo credit: ©Johannes Ivantscheff

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John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.