KUSA - Peyton Manning's weekly news conference on Wednesday had more of an edge to it. The Denver Broncos quarterback was prepared to talk about going back to Indianapolis, but then things went up a notch after the uproar his former boss started.
Colts owner Jim Irsay said this week they were looking for more success in the postseason and that's why they released Manning and his pending bonus and went to the NFL draft to get Andrew Luck.
Manning, who spent 14 seasons with the Colts, told a large gathering of reporters Wednesday at Dove Valley that he "didn't have an answer for you on that" when asked about the validity of Irsay's comments.
"I've learned in life you need to be at peace with someone else's decisions that you have no control of. ... It has served me well in this particular scenario," said Manning, who wouldn't specifically comment about Irsay and his recent comment.
Manning went on to say his return to the city that embraced him "no question it's unique."
Manning said he still maintains a connection to the city and those fans.
"If you need one catch phrase for your evening news, it would be what I said in March 2012, 'I sure did enjoy being their quarterback for 14 years,' " Manning said.
Manning is expected to be honor by the Colts on Sunday during the pregame introductions.
Manning is 160-70 in the regular season - joining Brady as the only quarterback with 90 more wins than losses - but is just 9-11 in the playoffs with eight first-round exits, seven with the Colts and last season with Denver.
Irsay told USA Today in an interview published Tuesday that the Colts turned to Andrew Luck two years ago and released Manning rather than pay him a $28-million roster bonus because they were looking for more playoff success.
"We've changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these," Irsay said, showing his Super Bowl ring. "[Tom] Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these. Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one."
"That leaves you frustrated. You make the playoffs 11 times, and you're out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the 'Star Wars' numbers from Peyton and Marvin [Harrison] and Reggie [Wayne.] Mostly, you love this."
He tweeted Wednesday that he found it hard to see how anyone could misinterpret his comments, but controversy sells, so he understands why people try to stir things up.
Broncos coach John Fox would not talk Wednesday about his rebuttal comments he made on radio Tuesday night. The first question to Fox on Wednesday was about his comments about Irsay, and Fox kept it simple.
"Those are yesterday's comments," Fox said Wednesday. "Any comments moving forward will be about the game and the Indianapolis Colts."
Fox said Tuesday night on a weekly satellite radio show that Irsay's comments in a Tuesday USA Today story were "a cheap shot" and "inappropriate."
Manning was released in March 2012 and signed two weeks later by the Broncos.
Even former NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton had harsh words for Irsay and his family. Tarkenton, who played from 1961-78 for the Vikings and Giants, referenced Jim Irsay's father, Bob, taking the Colts out of Baltimore "in the middle of the night, without telling anyone" in 1984.
"You are an embarrassment, Jim Irsay, to the legacy and history of this league," Tarkenton said during a 5-minute video he posted Wednesday on Facebook. "George Halas and the great founding fathers of this league are rolling over in their grave for what you have done. ... And now you're discracing one of the greatest players to ever play the game. ... Shame on you."
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