Bears look to Chris Ballard’s Colts for help

As a former Bears director of scouting, Chris Ballard seemed like a natural McCaskey family choice for the general-manager job in 2015.

In fact, the knock on Ballard was that he — like Phil Emery, a former scout who just had been fired as GM — was too familiar with how they do business at Halas Hall.

As it turned out, Ballard’s desire to alter business-as-usual at Halas Hall reportedly was a key reason he didn’t get the job. The Bears instead hired Saints director of player personnel Ryan Pace, a nice guy who went 48-65 in seven seasons and 0-2 in the playoffs.

Ballard, then the Chiefs’ director of player personnel, eventually got his GM job with the Colts in 2017. Despite getting blindsided by Josh McDaniels reneging on an agreement to become head coach and quarterback Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement, the Colts have prospered under Ballard. They’re 37-28 with two playoff berths in the last four seasons.

Despite a monumental collapse against the Jaguars in Week 18 that cost the Colts (9-8) a playoff spot this season, Ballard has them in good shape. They were among the top 10 in scoring and scoring defense in 2021.

Bypassing Ballard seems like a mistake at this point, so it was a bit amusing that the Bears are looking toward Ballard’s Colts as they try to pick up the pieces from the Pace/Matt Nagy era. The Bears confirmed they interviewed Colts…

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Mark Potash


Mark Potash

Chicago Sun TImes

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Native South Side Chicagoan born under the 49-star flag; Chicago Sun-Times sportswriter since 1987. Mizzou ’81. Niles West ’77. Lincolnwood. Pill Hill ’67.