Raiders Tirol – Same but different?
The Raiders Tirol are one of the few established teams in the league to bring in a new quarterback for the 2023 season. After league MVP Sean Shelton announced his retirement, the Austrian franchise was looking for the next best playmaker to take command of their offense.
At the end of their search, the Raiders were determined to sign the only Canadian quarterback in the European League of Football: Christian Strong.
A shared history
The 27-year-old quarterback has experience playing in Europe. He was the starting quarterback for the Cologne Crocodiles, just like his new but old wide receiver Jarvis McClam. Both players made their way from the German Football League to the European League of Football and ended up signing with the same team once again. Coincidence?
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“In the case of Jarvis McClam and Christian Strong, the decision on both players was made independently of each other,“ Raiders head coach Kevin Herron explained. “It is of course a bonus in having a new quarterback that already has chemistry with a wide receiver. However, our offense is known to distribute the ball and Jarvis is too good of a player to have pick him because of that.“
Strong and McClam connected for 79 catches, 981 yards and 16 total touchdowns through the air in 2022 while playing for the Crocodiles. They will certainly try to add to that total in 2023, when both are set play their first ever snap in the European League of Football for the Raiders.
In the meantime, Strong and his teammates are focused on the offseason workouts. “Champions are made in the offseason, so consistently attacking my workouts and film sessions now are what I’m focused on,” the quarterback commented in an interview. “The rest will follow suit as time progresses.“
If the Raiders can make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons remains to be seen. But they are certainly not starting from scratch when it comes to their offense.