ELF Offseason Grades – Eastern Teams

As university students around the globe are cramming for exams and finishing their semesters this time of year, it might be appropriate to give out some grades of our own.

In the growing European League of Football classroom, the first part of the off-season has been fast-paced, complex, and filled with pop quizzes. The abundance of new coaches, top players, and transfers being announced nearly every day has meant a lot of homework as teams prepare for play in 2023.

Let’s take a look at how six teams from the eastern parts of the league have fared so far this offseason.

Wroclaw Panthers: A+

As former Panthers head coach Jakub Samel moves into the front office, the Panthers had to replace a key figure in their program.

Moving into that role comes former D1 head coach Dave Christensen. Christen lead the Wyoming University Cowboys for three seasons and has decades of play-calling experience at the top level of the college game. In 2007, Christensen was the offensive coordinator for Heisman candidate and current NFL quarterback Chase Daniel, as the two broke several school records together. 

The offensive guru has helped bring back a multitude of key domestic contributors such as Rafał Rogaczewski, Bart Dziedzic and others, along with the addition of national champion wide receiver Brenton Martin, and French running back Norman Ossohuo

On defense, coordinator Dave Likins is back along with several key Polish players. They’ve also signed former All-Conference edge defender Solomon Brown and one-time FCS All-American defensive back Artevious Smith.

The only major question remaining in Wroclaw is who will be QB1?

Istanbul: F

A brief history of the Rams in the ELF is such: A total score of 64-283 through six games. Followed by a six game stretch of much improved football that included one win over the Barcelona Dragons, creating a glimmer of hope for Turkey’s team. 

The glimmer might however be fading as the sound of silence rings loudly from the ELF’s most eastern team. The Rams have been eerily quiet as the offseason enters its second month.

Vienna Vikings: B

The defending champion Vienna Vikings will no doubt march into 2023 with a stacked roster once again. However, with their quarterback, star defensive lineman, and several other pieces leaving, coach Chris Calaycay has been busy reloading his talented roster.

At quarterback Vienna snatched up Chris Helbig, arguably the German Football League’s best quarterback last season who amassed 3,750 yards and 49 touchdowns enroute to a championship game appearance. 

The addition of a top passer and the re-signing of domestic talents like Florian Bierbaumer and Benjamin Straight have the Vikings offseason off to a solid start.

Recently the Vikings also re-signed Exavier Edwards, perhaps their best player from last year. Edwards lined up at safety, linebacker, corner, running back, and kick returner, giving Vienna a boost all over the field. 

Leipzig Kings: C-

The Kings started off the offseason on a rocky note as head coach Fred Armstrong and the team split ways. However, Leipzig responded by promoting veteran John Booker to the head coaching position.

So far, the Kings have addressed some needs bringing back linebacker AJ Wentland the league’s leading tackler, as well as All-Star defensive lineman Aslan Zetterberg, safety William James, and center Tilmann Brutsch. They’ve also added former Umass (NCAA D1) offensive lineman Dominik Behrens, and former NFL Academy running back Maurice Baker. Another newcomer to Leipzig will be former Allgäu Comets and Missouri Western State (NCAA DII) safety Devan Burrell.

However, Leipzig needs to find a quarterback and more local talent if they want to reach the postseason in the ELF’s third season.

The Fehérvár Enthroners: B+

The Fehérvár Enthroners are doing the right things starting the offseason by bringing back former D1 HC Jaime Hill along with a strong core of Hungarian homegrown players. 

They were one of the first teams to secure a quarterback signing farmer Leipzig Kings dual threat passer Gabriel Cunningham. The former Texas Tech Red Raider (NCAA DI) was an electric player during the Kings final few games giving him and the Enthroners some buzz this offseason.

Other key signings included British offensive lineman Connor Bolton, Austrian pass rusher Florian Hirsch, and French talents Benjamin Plu and Anthony Rodiguez. Coach Hill also brought in former Nevada Wolfpack (NCAA DI) DB Elijah Moody to help his secondary. It remains to be seen how the Enthroners will use their two other American spots and be able to entice other Hungarian players to join them in the ELF. 

Prague Lions C+:

A one of the league’s new expansion teams, and the only ELF team in their country, the Prague Lions hope to follow in the mold of the Barcelona Dragons, Milano Seamen, Helvetic Guards, Fehérvár Enthroners, Paris Football Team, and Wroclaw Panthers by recruiting the countries best talent in a defacto national team suiting up in the ELF.

Coach Zach Harrod has been able to do that so far, luring in top Czech talent from the Znojmo Knights and even the archrival Prague Black Panthers. What hasn’t been announced yet is the import class for the Lions.

Still, Prague will bring back quarterback Shazzon Mumphrey after winning the Czech title last season, and also add Serbian talent Aleksandar Borkovic.

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and