Titans interview Chiefs’ Chris Ballard for GM job

Former Titans GM Ruston Webster answers questions at a news conference. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

NASHVILLE — Tennessee has interviewed Chiefs director of football operations Chris Ballard for its general manager opening, bringing the number of outside candidates the Titans have talked with to six.

The Titans confirmed Monday they completed an interview with Ballard.

He has been with the Chiefs the past three seasons starting as director of player personnel, overseeing the college and pro scouting departments. He was promoted to director of football operations last spring, two days after the Chiefs beat the Texans in an AFC wild-card game. He spent a week with cornerback Marcus Peters before the Chiefs took him in the first round, and Peters now is a defensive rookie of the year candidate with eight interceptions.

Ballard spent 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears starting as an area scout in 2001 before becoming director of pro scouting in 2012. The Bears won four NFC North titles and reached the NFC championship game twice, reaching the 2006 Super Bowl during Ballard’s tenure. Ballard helped Chicago draft Matt Forte, Charles Tillman and Tommie Harris and helped add players like Martellus Bennett and Brandon Marshall.

Knee injuries ended Ballard's college football career at Wisconsin-Madison, so he worked as a student assistant during his senior season. He then went into coaching at Texas A&M-Kingsville where he coached wide receivers, secondary and was defensive co-ordinator in 1999.

Tennessee fired Ruston Webster on Jan. 4 after going 5-27 over the past two seasons. The Titans also have interviewed former Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, Giants vice-president of player evaluation Marc Ross, former Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist, Jaguars director of player personnel Chris Polian and Tampa Bay's director of player personnel Jon Robinson.

Tennessee also is looking for a new coach after firing Ken Whisenhunt on Nov. 3, but the Titans are focusing on interviewing general manager candidates first.