WANTS the job.
When the Jets mentioned Ballard in their initial GM search beat writer Manish Mehta Tweeted the following:
Intriguing GM possibility for the Jets: Chiefs executive Chris Ballard. Feeling is Bears might be his top choice though.
This was Monday morning, just hours after Phil Emery had been fired, and Ballard’s camp was already letting media folks in other markets know he had his eyes squarely focused on Chicago. While the Chicago media seems hell bent on convincing fans nobody wants these jobs (completely untrue, by the way) here is a guy who would break down the doors of Halas Hall to take over the operation.
Familiarity with the organization.
Ballard made his scouting bones in the Bears organization which means he understands the hierarchical and bureaucratic structure of Halas Hall. Many folks want Ted Phillips fired and the McCaskey family to sell the franchise but, guess what, neither of those things are happening. The Bears need a GM who knows how to navigate the layers of administration currently in place. Ballard is that guy.
Side note: One of Phil Emery’s first scouting department moves was actually to promote Chris Ballard to Director of Pro Scouting. When I asked a well-connected friend why Ballard left Emery for the Chiefs organization, he responded with the following text: “He wanted to work for someone else.” This is not the first report of Emery being less than easy to deal with.
History as a defensive coach.
Before becoming a Bears scout, Ballard was a coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville for seven seasons, including spending the final season at defensive coordinator. (He is also heavily credited by Greg Gabriel with being bullish on Charles Tillman as a scout.) The Bears need a GM who can identify defensive talent and bring that talent to Chicago. There isn’t another man on the GM wish list with Ballard’s pedigree.
Two Bonus Things!
Son named Cash.
Cash Ballard is a badass name.