It’s been almost 14 months since former long time Montreal Alouettes assistant general manager Joey Abrams left the team. He finally took the opportunity to clear the air about his departure, as well as comment on other Alouettes personnel decisions in a radio interview on TSN 690 Montreal.
Abrams spent 12 years with the Alouettes and worked incredibly close with former GM Jim Popp. The two remain very close to this day. Currently, Abrams is living in the Ottawa region and working in real estate, content to spend more time with his family. But the Northern Ontario native hasn’t closed the door permanently on working in the CFL.
On not being able to co-exist with then-new GM Kavis Reed:
I guess you could say it was mutual. At the end of the day, Kavis told me that it probably wouldn’t work with me there. At the time I wasn’t necessarily sad about it. After 12 years it was time for me to move on. In the one-to-two-weeks that we were there together, I saw that the pages weren’t going to align….there was just going to be some friction there.
Whether or not working with Jim Popp in Toronto was explored:
Jim Popp is one of my best friends in life….We talked a lot. We spoke briefly about the potential of me going down there or working from abroad…I wasn’t ready…I didn’t think my heart was going to be in it like it needed to be at that point in time.
On his relationship with ownership and on not seriously being considered for the GM position:
Let me preface it by saying that I’m not sure that you can ask for a better owner of a professional sports franchise than Bob Wetenhall…But I thought that after 12 years in an organization that it’d be nice to at least be recognized by speaking with ownership to see what the plans were. That never came to fruition. Whether that was Andrew Wetenhall or Bob Wetenhall, I don’t know…It was disheartening.
On the last time he spoke to Andrew Wetenhall:
The last time I spoke with Andrew was at Kavis’s (introductory GM) press conference. He said that he was happy that I was there. The sentiment from Andrew and Kavis was that they were going to help me become the next general manager of the CFL, whether it was with the Alouettes or another team. I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus here, but I thought that kind of was lip service. It didn’t seem genuine at all to me…It felt weird. That was last time I was in touch with him.
On his successor as assistant GM, Catherine Raiche, and her leaving after only one year on the job, reportedly because she was not involved in the head coaching interview process:
I hired Catherine, although the GM had final stamp on who was hired…There’s such a thing as growing up too fast, and Kavis didn’t help out the situation by promoting her to such a position after only a year in football. I like Catherine. She’s a hard worker, she’s super smart. But she’s very inexperienced in the world of football, which is why they hired her and Joe Mack to run two different sides of the business. I don’t know anyone in football that has been there a year, and I don’t know if she thought this, that would think they’d be able to sit inside head coaching interviews. I’d never sat in any head coaching interviews during my time with the Alouettes.
On whether the Alouettes should trade for the rights to Johnny Manziel:
That (QB) position is the most important position in sports you have to look for more than what’s on tape. That character has to be beyond reproach. Johnny Manziel is anything but that. He might have turned over a new leaf, he might be a new guy, and if he is that’s great. But if I’m the general manager there’s no way that guy is suiting up for my team. He’s not coming in my locker room…There’s too much that can go wrong.
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