(CBS) The Bears’ move to hire Saints director of player of personnel Ryan Pace as their new general manager was a somewhat surprising one that has drawn praise from many of the game’s insiders who know what he’s meant to New Orleans.
It’s not been highly lauded by everyone, though — including Matt Miller, an NFL analyst for Bleacher Report and regular contributor to 670 The Score. He thought the Bears erred in not choosing Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard, who was considered the front-runner and spent 12 seasons in Chicago previously.
At 37, Pace is now the youngest GM in the NFL.
“I don’t like it,” Miller said on the Boers and Bernstein Show on Thursday afternoon. “I really don’t. I would’ve hired Chris Ballard. And I know saying that in Chicago is like saying I’d rehire Lovie Smith or something, but I look at this from an outsider’s perspective … I look at things without the emotion of being in the city. Chris Ballard was a slam dunk. I can’t believe they announced a hire that wasn’t him. I think it’s disappointing.
“I love the Bears … but I really just don’t like this hire.”
Miller went on to explain it wasn’t anything against Pace, but he believes Ballard couldn’t have been a better fit.
“I do know some people who work for the Chiefs,” Miller said. “They say great things about him. He’s a rock star in that building with an amazing eye for that talent. I think it’s said a lot about Ballard that he’s turned down jobs.”
Ballard rebuffed interest from the Bucs last season and the Jets this season.