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Eagles request interview with Chiefs' Chris Ballard for general manager job (UPDATE)

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Yet another new candidate in the Eagles search.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the Philadelphia Eagles have requested permission from the Kansas City Chiefs to interview Chris Ballard. Ballard, not to be confused with the Sports Illustrated writer with the same name, currently serves as the Chiefs director of player personnel.

As Schefter notes, Ballard may not be the most realistic option for the Eagles. Ballard is in the process of interviewing for the Chicago Bears' general manager vacancy. Ballard had been with the Bears for the last 12 years prior to being hired by Chiefs' GM John Dorsey in 2013. 11 of those years were spent as an area scout and one as the director of pro scouting. Prior to Chicago, Ballard coached the receivers, secondary, and defense at Texas A&M from 1994-2000.

Ballard was reportedly in the mix for the Buccaneers GM job last season but did not officially interview with Tampa Bay. But that didn't stop Bucs Nation from putting together a nice piece on him with some help from former Bears director of scouting Greg Gabriel.

I have a feeling Eagles fans will like the part where it says Ballard is a "very strong defensive evaluator and he was excellent with defensive backs."


"He was very, very impressive," Gabriel says. "And I knew he had the passion it took to be a good scout. Everybody wants to be a scout, but it's a very tough job. It's a tough job because number one you're on the road. You're by yourself. You're away from your family. You miss a lot of things, you miss your kids growing up because you're gone so much. You're basically your own boss when you're on the road. It takes its own stick-to-itiveness, initiative that you get the work done. And he got the work done."

It takes more than just toughness, work ethic and perseverance to be a good scout, however. You need to know how to scout players, and you need to be able to sell that to your coaches and to the people in charge.

"What Chris does better than any guy I've been around, and I've been doing this thirty years, he can sell a player better than anybody I've ever been around. Whether he's right or wrong, he knows how to sell them. He knows how to present a player. Just his personality, the words he uses, he's very, very convincing."

Ballard was especially good at evaluating players on the defensive side of the ball, and especially defensive backs. The Bears had a slew of very strong defensive backs when he was there, and some of them are still going in the league, like Charles Tillman.

"Chris was a very strong defensive evaluator and he was excellent with defensive backs. And the whole time I was there, Chris cross-checked defensive backs. So he knew number one what we were looking for, number two he knew the personality of the coach, and knew if the coach could work with the kid and knew if the kid could prosper under the coach. There's not a lot of scouts, who can do that who have that skill. That's where he was very very strong."


Ballard is the third name to emerge in the Eagles GM search. Lions' executive Sheldon White and the Eagles' own Ed Marynowitz are also reportedly in the mix.

UPDATE: CSN Philly reports that Ballard isn't interested in the Eagles job.

"The Eagles have requested permission to interview Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard for their general manager vacancy, but a league source said Ballard is not interested in the job. Ballard is also considered the front-runner for the Bears’ general manager opening. The league source said Chiefs general manager John Dorsey is unlikely to grant the Eagles permission to meet with Ballard. And if the two sides did agree to meet and Ballard was tendered an offer, the source said it was "pretty unlikely" Ballard would accept the job."