INDIANAPOLIS – John Harbaugh had blocked Ted Monachino before.
This opportunity though---one to become the defensive coordinator with Chuck Pagano in Indianapolis---was one Harbaugh, reluctantly, had to watch unfold.
For the previous six seasons, Monachino was a close confidant of Harbaugh on the Baltimore Ravens' coaching staff.
Now, Monachino will call the shots for an NFL defense.
"He's a great coach," Harbaugh said of Monachino at the NFL's Annual League Meetings. "Very great in terms of run defense and pass pressures. The players love him. Just a heck of a guy. Great family man.
"We were very disappointed to lose him. It got to the point where we could not deny him anymore."
Structurally and on paper, the Colts' 2016 defense will still employ a 3-4 base under Monachino.
Pagano wants to see a different unit though based off better fundamentals and incorporating multiple looks with an attacking, aggressive style.
In offseason evaluation time, a couple of specific areas really struck Pagano for improvements with Monachino now in the building.
"There's a lot of areas to address, none more important than the big play reel we looked at," Pagano says.
"We gave up a ton of big plays, probably as many as anyone in the National Football League (in 2015). And you're not going to win and play great defense giving up big plays on a consistent basis."
Last year, the Colts allowed 40 pass plays of at least 25 yards and 53 run plays of least 10 rushing yards. Combining those numbers led to a No. 31 ranking in "big plays" allowed in 2015.
Red zone defense (tied for 26th in 2015) is also on Pagano's defensive improvement list.
Personnel wise, the Colts have found their No. 2 cornerback (who excels in not giving up the big play). Thus the focus is now shifted elsewhere.
"We've got to find another inside (linebacker) and continue to develop guys who can rush the passer," Pagano says.
For Monachino, the personal side of life is something that has been a must in his various coaching stops.
Pro Bowl pass rusher Terrell Suggs doesn't hold back in his praise for Monachino's guidance.
Such a bond is something Colts' defenders should expect from their new coordinator.
"This game is based a lot on relationships," Monachino says. "With Terrell, it was always truth and trust.
"I think those are the things that have to happen in any successful relationship. When you can assure yourself that those two things are going to happen in any relationship you are involved in, then now you can move on to making each other better."