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Chris Ballard leading candidate for Buccaneers general manager position

Chris Ballard is likely to be the Buccaneers' next general manager, while Jeff Tedford will be Lovie Smith's offensive coordinator.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hire Jeff Tedford as their offensive coordinator, as has been reported approximately 2,485 times now, while Chris Ballard is likely to be the team's general manager, Chris Mortensen reports.

The hire of Jeff Tedford had been foretold for nearly a week now, and we should have some more information on his scheme and tendencies tomorrow.

The more interesting news is that Chris Ballard, whose name has been buzzing around, is likely to be the Bucs' next general manager over more experienced people like Jerry Angelo. Ballard spent 11 season in Chicago working as an area scout and one year as the Director of Pro Scouting. He was the Chiefs' Director of Player Personnel this past season.

The Chiefs' website gives Ballard credit for the drafting of Matt Forte, Johnny Knox, Charles Tillman, Tommie Harris and Nathan Vasher in Chicago, although it's not clear what he did in the past seven months he spent with the Chiefs as director of player personnel. Clearly he deserves some credit for the depth of that roster, although most of the talent was already in place when he got there.

Judging by the reactions on Twitter, Ballard has a stellar reputation, but it's incredibly difficult to properly evaluate front office personnel as an outsider. Regardless of Ballard's previous accomplishments, though, it's likely that he'll be second-in-command to Lovie Smith given the timing of the hirings. I would expect a similar partnership as the one that can be seen in Seattle, where Pete Carroll has final say even though John Schneider is the general manager.

Ballard is likely to keep the personnel department mostly intact through the draft, as contracts for front office personnel tend to expire in May. In part this is to ensure some continuity in draft and personnel evaluations. It's not clear what Ballard's potential arrival would mean for the current leading men in the department, which include Mark Dominik's right-hand man Dennis Hickey, director of college scouting Eric Stokes and coordinator of pro scouting Shelton Quarles.