Then Ballard provided a fitting mic drop.
"The rivalry is back on," the GM said as he walked away from the podium.
McDaniels spurning the Colts to remain Bill Belichick's understudy in New England should reignite any dormant flames that might have fizzled with Indy's recent struggles.
Ballard said he wasn't interested in the explanation McDaniels had for deciding to stay in New England.
"There was no persuasion. Let me make this clear: I want, and we want as an organization a head coach that wants to be all-in," Ballard said. "We have work to do. And I want somebody that's 100 percent committed to partnering with us in getting that work done."