Report: Chris Ballard “leading candidate” for Buccaneers G.M.

Lovie Smith is the coach, Jeff Tedford is the offensive coordinator and now the Buccaneers need to hire themselves a general manager.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard is a leading candidate for the job. Ballard is finishing his first year as a member of the Chiefs organization.

He joined the Chiefs after 12 years with the Bears and the fact that he’s a familiar face to Smith probably isn’t hurting his candidacy much at all. Ballard was an area scout for 11 years and then spent the 2012 season as the director of pro scouting. He was a college assistant coach before taking the scouting job in Chicago.

Ballard has relatively little experience as anything but a scout at the professional level, but hiring Smith before a G.M. gives a hint at how the decision-making power will be doled out in Tampa. It appears to be Smith-centered and working with someone that he’s worked with in the past may make that easier to implement.

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