Before Colts General Manager Chris Ballard began to talk about Josh McDaniels’ decision not to take the Colts head coaching job at a Wednesday press conference, he spoke for several minutes about the deaths of Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe.
Jackson and Monroe, who was an Uber driver, were killed when a drunk driver hit them while they were standing on the side of Interstate 70 on Sunday morning. Ballard said that that tragic event meant that the team’s coaching search was nowhere near his mind until he heard from McDaniels on Tuesday.
“To be very honest with you, after Sunday’s events with the passing of Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe it was a very tough two days. We’re not even close to this coaching search. My thoughts were with Edwin and Jeffrey and their families and the tragic deaths that occurred on Sunday morning. Very difficult day, very difficult couple of days, talking with both families, talking with our players. I want all of you to make sure you keep in perspective what’s important in life. That’s human life and that’s people. How we treat people, telling the people that you’re close to that you love them every day because tomorrow’s not promised to any of us. It’s not. Sunday was an eye opener that put a lot of great things in perspective for me.”
Ballard said he and Colts safety Matthias Farley cried together about the losses and that “it’s important we remember Edwin Jackson for the things he stood for” amid everything else that’s going on with the team. Colts owner Jim Irsay will be paying for both funerals and Ballard told the families of both men that “we’re going to be with you every step of the way.”
During the question and answer period of the press conference, Ballard was asked about PFT’s reports on Sunday that McDaniels was not certain to take the Colts job. He had said earlier in the session that he was not aware of any cold feet before hearing from McDaniels on Tuesday.
Ballard said Sunday was a “hard day” because of the deaths and that he didn’t watch the Super Bowl or otherwise pay attention to the football world because he was concerned with the families of Jackson and Monroe.