July 1, 2021

Chris Ackie, happy to be back… and in the Alouettes’ uniform

“I found it difficult to be traded for the first time of my career”

October 2018, Chris Ackie is feeling hurt inside. He is in front of his stall in the Alouettes locker room and has just learned that he has to pack his bags for Ottawa. The Alouettes just traded him for a second-round pick. The linebacker was in his fourth year in the nest and thought he would finish his career in Montreal.

A first-round pick (4th overall), in the 2015 CFL Draft, Ackie was showing numbers that proved that team General Manager Jim Popp was right to choose him. In 52 games with the Alouettes, the Cambridge, ON native, had 109 defensive tackles, 21 on special teams, two sacks, two interceptions while forcing four fumbles before being traded.

“I found it difficult to be traded for the first time in my career. I had a very good season and this transaction came as a surprise to me. I took a step back and I understood the Alouettes’ situation. The team was not going to qualify for the playoffs and the General Manager Kavis Reed wanted to improve the team.”

When he left for the Federal capital, the former Wilfrid Laurier’s University Golden Hawks was among the league leaders with 81 defensive tackles in 13 games.

After a short stint with the REDBLACKS in 2018, Ackie returned with the Alouettes in 2019 before signing a one-year contract with the Toronto Argonauts in 2020 but that season never happened.

“I am so happy to be an Alouette again. It’s my team, they gave me my first chance, and I know most of the players and staff. I am comfortable with this organization. When we were able to sign a deal this winter, I was relieved and very happy with the situation.”

In about ten days, Ackie will put on his spikes and line up with his teammates he knows well and others he will welcome with open arms. During our interview, we scrutinized the Alouettes’ line-up. The Canadian had good words to say about his teammates. Defensive tackle Woody Baron is one of the best at his position and a player who brings a lot to the team. The presence of players like Greg Reid and Patrick Levels will help the team grow its number of tackles. These two athletes have led this category since their debut in the league. He said he was very pleased with the arrival of star Almondo Sewell.

“This is really an acquisition that will help us. He’s known the CFL through and through. This guy is a quarterback hunter. He’s been doing it for years and nobody seems to be able to stop him.”

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