Fox: Irsay’s Manning comments ‘a cheap shot’

Updated: October 15, 2013, 7:54 PM ET


ESPN.com news services


Denver Broncos coach John Fox defended quarterback Peyton Manning Tuesday after Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said he was “disappointed” the Colts only won one Super Bowl with the former No. 1 overall pick.

“I saw the comments. And to be honest with you, I thought it was a bit of a cheap shot,” Fox said during in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “To me, in my opinion, they were disappointing and inappropriate.

“Peyton would never say anything. He’s too classy to do that. They sounded a little ungrateful and unappreciative to me. For a guy who has set a standard, won a Super Bowl, won four MVP awards… be thankful of that one Super Bowl ring, because a lot of people don’t have one.”

Irsay, in an interview with USA Today Sports, said the Colts have changed their model “a little bit” under Andrew Luck, because he wants “more than one of these [rings].”

“[Tom] Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these [rings],” Irsay told USA Today. “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 [ring].”

Irsay also told USA Today Sports that Manning felt the Colts could not pass up the chance to draft Luck.

The Colts have gone 15-7 since drafting Luck with the top overall pick in 2012. At the time of the conversation, Manning was recovering from fusion surgery on his neck and the Colts were attempting to rebound from a 2-14 season.

“[Manning] said, ‘You’ve got to take Andrew,'” Irsay told USA Today Sports. “‘You have to. You’re crazy if you don’t.'”

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