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Buccaneers general manager candidates include Marc Ross, Jerry Angelo

The candidates for general manager include Marc Ross and Jerry Angelo, while Chris Ballard and Tim Ruskell have also been mentioned.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers not only need to replace their head coach, they also need a new general manager. The Bucs appear to be in full pursuit of Lovie Smith, which means any general manager will have to work with Smith as well. Several people have already been mentioned as potential GMs in combination with Lovie Smith. Jason Cole is naming New York Giants Director of College Scouting Marc Ross while Ian Rapoport mentioned a possible reunion with Jerry Angelo and Tim Ruskell. Finally, Jason La Canfora went with Kansas City Director of Player Personnel Chris Ballard.

Marc Ross was a candidate for several general manager jobs over the past two years, including the Jets' job in 2013 and the Bears' job in 2012. While he didn't get those jobs, he did get promoted to the position of "Vice President of Player Evaluation" by the New York Giants after serving as the Giants' Director of College Scouting for six years. In that capacity he helped the Giants build two Super Bowl-winning teams -- although obviously, he helped them build a few depth-challenged teams that failed to make the playoffs, too.

Chris Ballard is the current Director of Player Personnel of the Kansas City Chiefs but is connected with Lovie Smith through his time with the Chicago Bears, where he spent 11 seasons as an area scout and one as the Director of Pro Scouting. That's not really a general manager resume, but he could be part of the front office in some way, shape or form.

Jerry Angelo is the veteran option with a lot of experience. He worked with Lovie Smith in Chicago and would be the logical connection, but he struggled to draft well with the Bears. He's been out of the league since being fired in 2011, and was inconsistent at best with his top draft picks, with Greg Olsen, Marc Colombo and Tommie Harris really the only successes there. He did have an eye for defensive talent, though, with Charles Tillman, Alex Brown, Chris Harris, Henry Melton and Lance Briggs being the main highlights of his drafts.

Angelo's appeal would lie more in his work with the Buccaneers before joining the Bears, as he was a major part of the Bucs' front office from 1987 through 2001. Angelo worked alongside Tim Ruskell in Tampa Bay. Ruskell eventually became general manager of the Seattle Seahawks, but mostly oversaw the slow dismantling of Seattle's 2005 Super Bowl squad. He's spent the past two years with the Tennessee Titans as a scout, while he was a two-year Director of Player Personnel for the Bears under Jerry Angelo. Most significant is the fact that he was the Bucs' director of college scouting from 1992 to 2000, overseeing multiple successful (mostly defensive) drafts.

Finally, there are a few in-house options as well. Shelton Quarles and Eric Stokes have managed to gather a good reputation among fans. Quarles has been a factor in the front office since he retired as a player in 2006, and intriguingly played under Lovie Smith for several seasons. Eric Stokes was hired away from the Seahawks a couple of years ago, and his arrival was coupled with a sudden increase in draft efficiency. He has no links to Lovie Smith, though -- a first in this list.