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Fox Defends Manning

Posted Oct 15, 2013

On his weekly appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio, Head Coach John Fox responded to Colts Owner Jim Irsay's comments to USA Today.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- If there wasn't enough hype already surrounding the Week 7 Sunday Night Football matchup between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, comments made by Colts Owner Jim Irsay to USA Today Tuesday might have added even more.

Tuesday afternoon, Head Coach John Fox joined Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan for his regularly scheduled weekly interview on Moving the Chains on Sirius XM NFL Radio.

He was asked about Irsay's take on Peyton Manning's tenure in Indianapolis.

"I saw the comments, and to be honest with you I thought it was a bit of a cheap shot," Fox told the hosts. "To me, in my opinion, they were disappointing and inappropriate. Peyton would never say anything, he's too classy to do that, but they sounded a little ungrateful and unappreciative to me, for a guy that's set a standard, won a Super Bowl, won division titles, won four MVP awards. I'd be thankful of that one Super Bowl ring, because a lot of people don't have one."

Irsay was quoted in USA Today discussing the transition from Manning to Andrew Luck.

"We've changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these," Irsay said, pointing to his Super Bowl ring.

"(Tom) Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these," he continued. "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."

After that last line, he pointed to his ring again.

During Fox's radio appearance, Miller and Kirwan pointed out that Lucas Oil Stadium might not have been built without the success on the field Manning orchestrated for 14 years in Indianapolis.

"I think any time you're able to get that done as an organization, there's got to be great commitment from your city, your fans," Fox responded. "I know at least the feedback that I've gotten, I don't live in Indy, but we do spend some time there during the combine every year. He did a lot of great things in that community and for that organization."

As for whether Manning will get caught up in the hype surrounding his return to Indianapolis, Fox didn't buy it.

"He's the most prepared player I think I've ever been around," the head coach said. "He's a guy that raises all boats in that locker room. Nobody cares more about winning than Peyton Manning. I think his teammates feel that, and it doesn't even just mean offense -- I'm talking about offense, defense, kicking game, everybody down there.

"So he's going to stay focused. He's not going to get involved in the circus. All his focus will be on the preparation that's going to take us to beat the Indianapolis Colts."

Click here to listen to the audio of Fox's radio appearance.