Colts GM Ballard on McDaniels: 'I didn't want the explanation'

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard skipped the small talk when he received an unexpected phone call from Josh McDaniels on Tuesday night, well after the franchise announced him in a press release as the team's next head coach.

McDaniels called at 7:15 p.m. ET while Ballard was conducting draft meetings.

SEE ALSO: Twitter users roasted the Colts after Josh McDaniels unexpectedly backed out of deal to be their coach

"I was very confident that a deal was in place, a press conference was going to be held (Wednesday) at 3:30," Ballard said. "I live in a black and white world. Either you're in or you're out. I didn't want the explanation."

After two interviews, one with Ballard and another with owner Jim Irsay present, McDaniels on Tuesday informed Ballard that he didn't have good news. He was staying with the New England Patriots.

"He said he had bad news for me. I said, 'Are you in or out?' We went around for a few minutes and he said 'I'm out,'" Ballard said.

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FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots reacts after winning the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - 2005: Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 29: After Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threws his second touchdown pass of the game to break Peyton Manning's single season record, he gets a pat on the head from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
(KG) SP12MCDANIELS -- The Denver Broncos announced Josh McDaniels as their new head coach Monday evening, January 12, 2009. McDaniels was most recently the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick. Denver Post photo by Karl Gehring (Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER - MARCH 16: A fan holds a sign for the controversy between Josh McDaniels and Jay Cutler of the Denver Broncos during the Denver Nuggets v the New Jersey Nets on March 16, 2009 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Josh McDaniels, the new head coach for the Denver Broncos, seems to be fitting right in as the Denver's newest head coach. In his office, overlooking the practice field at Dove Valley, McDaniels watches game tapes and catches up on paper work. Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER - SEPTEMBER 20: Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos oversees warm ups prior to facing the Cleveland Browns during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Browns 27-6. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO - CIRCA 2010: In this photo provided by the NFL, Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD,CO--SEPTEMBER 24TH 2010--Denver Broncos head coach, Josh McDaniels at Broncos headquarters at Dove Valley during press conference Friday morning. Andy Cross, The Denver Post (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 3: Head Coach Josh McDaniels, quarterbacks Kyle Orton #8, Brady Quinn #9 and Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos watch a replay during a timeout against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on October 3, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Broncos defeated the Titans 26-20. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is patted on the head by head coach Josh McDaniels after a 1yd touchdown during the second quarter of play against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday November 14, 2010 at Invesco Field at Mile High. Photo by Joe Amon, The Denver Post (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 20: Head coach Steve Spagnuolo of the St. Louis Rams and Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels discuss the previous play against the Tennessee Titans at the Edward Jones Dome on August 20, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams gets a pat on the rear from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers won 24-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 24: New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (#83), Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels, and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (#12) share a laugh at today's Patriots practice. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on the sidelines during the first quarter. The Denver Broncos take on the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on January 19, 2014. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 15: Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels talks with Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prior to the preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium on August 15, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
November 16, 2014: Indianapolis Colts head coach Bill Belichick and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels talk on the sidelines during a football game between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 28: Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots looks on before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 28, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 4: Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels waves while holding the Lombardi trophy during the New England Patriots victory parade on February 4, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 25: Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels celebrates when Tight End Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots has a Touchdown against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on October 25, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images for New York Jets)
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16: New England Patriots offensive coordinate Josh McDaniels looks on during warm ups prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels prior to the National Football League game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets on November 27, 2016, at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. The New England Patriots defeated the New York Jets 22-17. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22: New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels looks on during the second half against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 22: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (left) and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (right) share a laugh just after Brady came onto the field for pre game warmups. The New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Jan. 22, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 07: New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels celebrates during the New England Patriots victory parade on February 7, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime in Super Bowl 51. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - MAY 25: New England Patriots offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels mugs for the camera during New England Patriots OTA on May 25, 2017, at the Patriots Practice Facility in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 27: New England Patriots offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels watches the quarterbacks during New England Patriots training camp on July 27, 2017, at the Patriots Practice Facility in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts with Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels before the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25, 2017: Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (L) and head coach Bill Belichick (R) of the New England Patriots walk off the field for halftime of a preseason game on August 25, 2017 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New England won 30-28. (Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots celebrates after winning the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Ballard denied what he called "rumors" around quarterback Andrew Luck and his timetable for a return to the field. However, Ballard did confirm Luck has not yet picked up a football in his rehabilitation routine. Luck missed the entire 2017 season recovering from shoulder surgery.

McDaniels and Luck never spoke, Ballard said, nor did McDaniels ever request to speak with Luck.

"At this point, we feel very strongly Andrew is in a good place. He doesn't need surgery. His strength is good. He's working on his throw motion. He's working on arm speed," Ballard said. "He's not going to skip a step. He's going to do everything right to get ready to play. He's very confident he's coming back to prove a lot of people wrong."

Ballard said he has "a list of great guys" he will interview and is treating the situation as an opportunity to start anew.

"If we were sitting middle of March, I'd have a different perspective on it," Ballard said. "There's a lot of good coaches out there. Everyone gets in panic mode. Tony Dungy told me a great story ... Tampa interviewed him four times. He was assembling his staff in March."

Ballard said there were no indications McDaniels was vacillating. He said Sunday was a hard day -- the Colts lost linebacker Edwin Jackson in a car accident -- and he didn't pay attention to the Super Bowl or any perceptions that surfaced around the Colts that day.

"To me, it's about being right. You've got to get it right," Ballard said. "It doesn't matter if you're the first to get it done -- I want to get it right. As a GM, you always keep a list of guys, people you would potentially hire. All of them are on board with where we're going."

Ballard said "Josh McDaniels is a good football coach," but he's taking the stance with the Colts that things work out for a reason.

"Just because you're the first choice doesn't mean you're the right choice," Ballard said. "I want and we want as an organization a coach that wants to be all in. We have work to do. I want a coach who is 100 percent committed to getting that work done."

McDaniels had lined up two assistant coaches for his staff with the Colts. Ballard said Irsay will honor those agreements.

"The staff is important. It's critical. That's a big part of the head-coaching search," Ballard said.

Ballard spent nine years in Chicago and is a friend of Rod Marinelli. For that reason, he said he believes strongly in Matt Eberflus, who had agreed to be defensive coordinator on McDaniels' staff.

"I'm excited about our defensive coordinator," Ballard said.

Offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, and defensive line coach Mike Phair are also remaining with the team moving forward.

--Field Level Media

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