As many expected would be the case, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has gone to his former coaching staff with the Baltimore Ravens to hire his new defensive coordinator. The team announced yesterday that they had fired Greg Manusky, who had held the role for the previous four seasons under Pagano in Indy, and Manusky's replacement is Ravens linebackers coach Ted Monachino.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh announced at his press conference today that Monachino will become the defensive coordinator of the Colts. Later in the afternoon, the Colts confirmed the move.
"We are pleased to announce the hiring of Ted Monachino as our next defensive coordinator," head coach Chuck Pagano said in a statement released through the team. "Ted brings a wealth of experience with 25 years of coaching all on the defensive side of the ball. He has overseen one of the league's best linebacker units for the last six years and I had the privilege of coaching with him for two of those seasons. Ted is very familiar with our scheme. He is a great motivator and is extremely respected by the players he has coached."
Monachino had been reported to be a "strong candidate" for the Colts' defensive coordinator job by FOX Sports' Alex Marvez, so this is no surprise. Monachino has been the Ravens' linebackers coach since 2010, coaching players like Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Elvis Dumervil, and C.J. Mosley, among a number of others. He has developed a good repuation as a linebackers coach and is generally thought of to be ready for the challenge of running a defense. He has been linked to some defensive coordinator jobs in the past but hasn't been hired for them, but Pagano likes him enough to bring him on board. Monachino worked with Pagano for two seasons in Baltimore (2010-2011), the latter of which Pagano was defensive coordinator. Before his time in Baltimore, Monachino was the defensive line coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2006-2009 and before that worked at a number of colleges (including Arizona State, where he coached Terrell Suggs). According to the Baltimore Sun, it has been "widely believed" that Monachino would be the eventual successor for current Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees, but John Harbaugh doesn't stand in the way of assistant coaches getting a promotion (he will only block lateral moves to other teams).
Some writers who have covered the Ravens think Monachino was a good hire by the Colts:
Ted Monachino is a big loss for Ravens. Coached Suggs in college well and is very close to him. Good coach, well-liked guy.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) January 7, 2016
New Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino, the former Ravens linebackers coach, is a sharp guy, I think he'll do well.— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) January 7, 2016
Monachino makes a ton of sense for the Colts since he runs the same exact system as Chuck Pagano, giving him familiarity with both the head coach and with the system. According to the Baltimore Sun, Pagano has "a close relationship" with Monachino. Furthermore, he's done a good job coaching linebackers, so that could be an added bonus for the Colts in that regard. We've yet to see how he will do running a defense, but he's been a successful position coach, knows Chuck Pagano, and knows the system. Considering all of that, this is a hire that is no surprise and seems like a logical one for the Colts to make.