Targeting Chris Ballard?December 30th, 2013
Rumblings of the Buccaneers’ targets for a new head coach and general manager are everywhere.
Joe’s not on board the Lovie Smith-Rich McKay, time-machine train, which is one of the hot rumors as the Bucs compete with at least six teams for top candidates. But Jason La Canfora added an interesting new wrinkle to that combination on CBSSports.com.
New Chiefs personnel director Chris Ballard, per La Canfora, could be part of that mix.
Several league sources noted the very strong relationship Smith had with personnel director Chris Ballard when both were in Chicago, and Ballard is viewed by many as an emerging young executive. Ballard is currently the director of player personnel in Kansas City, and if the Smith-McKay pairing happens in Tampa, as expected, he too could be part of that group.
Ballard is in his first season with the Chiefs, going there as part of the Andy Reid/John Dorsey management team that took over the franchise in 2013.
Here’s some background on Ballard from his days with the Bears.
The former Chicago Bears personnel staff member spent 12 seasons with Chicago, including one season as the Director of Pro Scouting (2012). He spent the previous 11 seasons as the Bears Southwest Area Scout (2001-11). During that time, Ballard helped Chicago draft Pro Bowlers Matt Forte, Johnny Knox, Charles Tillman, Tommie Harris and Nathan Vasher.
Prior to his time with Chicago, Ballard spent seven seasons as a coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville (1994-2000). Ballard started his coaching career in 1994 tutoring the wide receivers. From 1995-99 he was the secondary coach. In his final season at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Ballard served as defensive coordinator. During his time with the Javelinas, Ballard helped mentor future NFL players including current Chiefs Defensive Assistant/Secondary Coach Al Harris.
Now Joe doesn’t claim to know this guy Ballard, but it says something that Andy Reid, a noted personnel man, would add him to his regime.