January 7, 2011

Cox and Bekasiak back with champs

MontrealAlouettes.com Staff

MONTREAL — Montreal Alouettes’ Vice President and General Manager Jim Popp announced today that all-star linebacker Chip Cox and Canadian defensive tackle J.P. Bekasiak have both re-signed with the club. Both players were potential free agents this coming February. Cox has signed a four year deal, while Bekasiak’s contract covers the next three seasons.

“These are a major re-signings for our club for the future.  Chip has been an impact player for the Alouettes since he arrived in Montreal, but no bigger than he has been over the last two seasons since the switch to linebacker.  Chip easily could have been named defensive player of the year both years,” said Popp.

Cox will begin his sixth season with the Alouettes in 2011, after being named the team’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player and CFL, East Division and CFLPA All-Star in 2010. He finished tied for first in the CFL with four forced fumbles and eighth in the league and first on the Alouettes with 80 defensive tackles. He was also tied for second on the team with 11 special teams tackles and two fumbles recoveries and recorded three sacks, six knockdowns and two interceptions with three tackles for a loss in the process. He surpassed Stefan Reid for first place in team history (since 1996) for most career defensive tackles. He is 27.

“Chip has the uncanny ability to make plays.  If a ball is on the ground, tipped pass, blocked kick, you name it; he is one of the players that just seems to know how to find the football.  In the 19 seasons that I have been in the CFL, the two defensive players that come to my mind that have been able to make those plays are Barron Miles and Chip Cox,” added the GM.

Bekasiak played 17 games in 2010 with the Alouettes, finishing fourth on the team with four sacks while recording 15 defensive tackles and one tackle for a loss of one yard. He also registered one interception and one sack in the East Division Final against the Argonauts. He is 29.

“The Hulk is back and we are happy!  J.P. is starting to come into his own.  He has solidified himself as a major contributor to the Alouettes defensive rotation.  The work that J.P. has put in with Coach Mike Sinclair has paid dividends and we feel he will continue to climb the ladder and make his mark as one of the most dominating Non-Import Defensive Lineman in the CFL in the near future.”