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Lovie Smith, Rich McKay may be on way back to Bucs as coach, exec

Lovie Smith could be looking at a return to Tampa Bay, this time as head coach. (USATSI)
Lovie Smith could be looking at a return to Tampa Bay, this time as head coach. (USATSI)

More NFL: Coaching change tracker | Rumors | Latest news

Numerous Bucs and league sources have pointed to former Bears head coach Lovie Smith, a onetime Tampa Bay assistant, as a frontrunner to land the Buccaneers head coaching job, with former Bucs exec Rich McKay returning to the team as a team president.

After helping the Falcons secure a new stadium in Atlanta, sources say McKay could get out of his deal without major complications.

McKay does not have a role in football operations with the Falcons but could have a role in reshaping it in Tampa, with Smith, as Bucs GM Mark Dominik also was also let go Monday.

Several league sources noted the very strong relationship Smith had with personnel director Chris Ballard when both were in Chicago, and Ballard is viewed by many as an emerging young executive. Ballard is currently the director of player personnel in Kansas City, and if the Smith-McKay pairing happens in Tampa, as expected, he too could be part of that group.

Ballard is in his first season with the Chiefs, going there as part of the Andy Reid/John Dorsey management team that took over the franchise in 2013.

Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday during the season on The NFL Today.
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