With every professional sports organization, change is inevitable. From the players on the field to the folks in the front office, no franchise's personnel stays exactly the same from season to season.
This is the same for the Chicago Bears, who have seen multiple changes within its scouting department over the past five days. Last Friday, Chris Ballard, the team's pro personnel director, accepted a position as pro and college personnel director with the Kansas City Chiefs. Ballard was a southwest area scout for the Bears for 11 seasons before being promoted to the pro department last season. Many see him as a future GM, so this next promotion by the Chiefs was too good for Ballard to pass up.
With that came a shuffling of the front office. Kevin Turks was promoted to director of pro personnel, while Dwayne Joseph was promoted to associate director of pro personnel. Turks worked as pro scout in Chicago from 2002-2007 before being named assistant director of pro personnel in 2008. Joesph, who worked in the Bears' operations department from 1998-2003, rejoined the club last season after seven years as a pro scout for the Miami Dolphins.
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Last month, Emery fired James Kirkland, who was the club's college scout for the Atlantic region. To replace him, the team signed Ryan Kessenich, who spent the last four seasons as an area scout with the Chiefs.
And today, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that longtime college scout Ted Monago has departed for a promotion as national scout for the St. Louis Rams. Last year, Emery promoted Monago to the position of executive scout overseeing the SEC, the conference from which two of the Bears' 2013 draft picks, Florida linebacker Jon Bostic and Georgia defensive end Cornelius Washington, played collegiately.
In a month's time, three members of the scouting department are no longer with the team, with one yet to be replaced. Given the timing of these events, just a week after the draft, is this some type of fallout from draft weekend? Has Emery alienated himself from the existing staff, to the point where guys can't wait to bolt?
It's very possible that there were some differences of opinion during this year's draft and maybe there were some personality clashes, but that's all speculation. From what we know, everything is calm at Halas Hall. The recent departures of Ballard and Monago were promotions, not lateral moves. Both men were looking to advance their careers and were given an opportunity to do so. Particularly in the case of Monago, it's seems very unlikely there are any bad feelings. He was promoted last year and the Bears selected two players from his region. By all accounts, Emery was very happy with his work.
This is just normal movement within an organization. In fact, it's surprising there hasn't been an even bigger shakeup in the scouting department considering Emery is only his 15th month as general manager. These changes should be expected.
And these aren't necessarily bad moves by any means. The main reason the team fired former GM Jerry Angelo was his failures in the first few rounds of the draft. That's not a slight against Ballard, Manago or any of Chicago's scouts, but collectively, they just did not get the job done. So moving over to a relatively fresh set of scouts is actually a good thing.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.