Manning “stunned” by Polian dismissal

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It was a busy Black Monday, as expected.  The moment we’ll remember years from now is when we learned Colts owner Jim Irsay decided to pull the plug on the Polian era in Indianapolis.

Peyton Manning was among those most surprised.

“I was stunned, I was surprised, I was saddened and just disappointed that it all happened this way,” Manning told ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen. “I was actually meeting with Bill [Polian] in the training room and we were talking about my rehab schedule, what I could and couldn’t do in the facility under the new [CBA] and my checkpoints when he was summoned to see Irsay. He actually chuckled and said, ‘We’ll see.’ ”

There were indications over the last few months that Manning and Polian were not on the same page with certain aspects of Manning’s rehab. That didn’t change the affection Manning had for Polian after everything they accomplished together.

“Bill and I and Chris Polian has been here the whole time, too, had a great ride with tremendous highs and it makes me very sad that this ends on such a negative note,” said Manning.

Polians departure doesn’t mean that Manning is next out the door. In fact, we believe Irsay’s decision makes it more likely that Manning stays.

Tony Dungy joined NBC SportsTalk Monday and was stunned as well. Florio asked Dungy if Polian’s departure would affect whether Manning wanted to stay with the Colts.

“I don’t think so,” Dungy said. “With what I know, with everyone there, Peyton Manning wants to be a Colt. He wants to finish his career there. Jim Irsay wants him to finish his career there. I don’t think [Polian’s departure] will be a factor at all.”

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112 responses to “Manning “stunned” by Polian dismissal

  1. It’s cool Peyton. I’m sure most Colts fans were “stunned” when you single-handedly gave the Super Bowl to the Saints with that awful pick six you threw. Choke.

  2. I wonder if Manning was more stunned by this or the fact that the Colts gave him truckloads of money without making him take a physical!

  3. The Polians did not put together great teams despite 11 playoff appearances in 14 seasons… they simply were given one of the best players of all time (Peyton Manning)

    For example…

    Pats lose Brady for a season, 11-5 w/out him.

    Colts lose Manning for a season, 2-14 w/out him.

    There’s your difference.

  4. The unrealized factor is that the Polians will make someone in other town happy. Meaning, San Diego, Miami, who knows. They have to be receiving a lot of calls right now. Maybe even Minnesota that needs a new GM.

  5. Never would’ve happened if he didn’t pull the plug on the Colts’ run for a perfect season. I think that Bush League move was never and will never be completely forgiven. Let it be a cautionary tale for others in that same situation.

  6. I’m not a huge Manning fan. I dislike him, his brother, their commercials, the manningface…. However it’s hard not to respect this guy and I actually think he deserves to finish out his career in Indy. He shouldn’t be shipped off to the Jets or Vikings or the Skins. As great as it would be for Indy’s PR staff to have a QB named luck who has a horseshoe on his helmet, Manning deserves better….
    Thumbs up if you agree.

  7. Polian used his position on the Competition Committee to get the rules changed to help his own team. This is karma, and Belichick is smiling.

  8. zlmillerkazz, and you don’t think the rest of the team had anything to do with that?

    In 2008, the Pats had a much better backup, better offensive weapons (Moss and Welker), the better defense (the Colts gave up 430 points this year compared to the Pats giving up 309 in 2008), and oh, the MUCH better coach.

    The Colts were already on a steep decline from the day Caldwell took over. From 14 wins in 2009, to 10 in 2010…even with Peyton this year, they might not have even hit 10 wins because of Caldwell’s incompetence as a head coach.

    You guys need to put this lame argument to bed.

  9. “It’s cool Peyton. I’m sure most Colts fans were “stunned” when you single-handedly gave the Super Bowl to the Saints with that awful pick six you threw. Choke.”

    Reggie Wayne telegraphed the play and the route, that pick was his fault.

    Even if you disagree with that, you can’t see — after this season’s performance — that everything the Colts achieved since 1998 was achieved because of Manning first, and everyone else second?

  10. I’m stunned too. How can you fire someone who has drafted sure fire hall of famers like Jerry Hughs, Donald Brown and Anthony Gonzalez?

    Just doesn’t make sense

  11. Peyton: “Hey Jimbo- Peyton.”

    Irsay: “S’up, my broth-a?’

    Peyton:”Polians. Both of ’em. Thinkin’ about pushing the button.”

    Irsay: “Totally your call, P-Man. I mean, we’ll say it was my idea since I am the owner and all, but hey- whatever 18 wants, 18 gets.”

    Peyton: “Cool. I’ll get Luca Brasi.”

  12. Peyton was going to offer up his pay “cut” to be only 18.5 million for next season if they took Luck…He would coach Luck and run to sideline if LB was close to a tackle on newly fused neck…Things don’t look so perfect for Peyton now……Brady wins.

  13. This decision is unquestionably an overreaction in the immediate. Some might say irrational when they have a member of the family, Brian Polian the ST CO at Stanford, someone who knows all there is to know about Luck. He’s yours for the taking and you could have a whole offseason essentially crafting a plan just for him.

    Couple that with the possibility that Manning could be done at any point. Some have predicted he wouldn’t risk potential further catastrophic injury if it comes down to it.

    Even if they do bring Manning back the money they would have to pay Luck is significantly less than it would’ve been with the new CBA.

    I just think this was a move to make even a week later, if it has to be made. At least get all the info out of the bowl game tonight from the inside. The massive amount of info that will be disseminated from Luck’s entire career will come in the next 2 weeks is not something you want your front office to miss out on while your looking for a GM.

  14. Sorry, but when a guy doesn’t even have a winning record in the postseason, he can’t be considered one of the all time greats. Beating up on lousy division opponents during the regular season and putting up big stats in a dome doesn’t make you a QB legend… winning Super Bowls do. Choker. Truth hurts.

  15. stairwayto7 says:
    Jan 2, 2012 10:42 PM
    Manning kicked to the curb like Joe Paterno! Enjoy Miami next season!
    ——————————————————-
    What a stupid comment by you. What Paterno did was illegal, immoral, and absolutely unconscionable. He deserved to get kicked somewhere else besides “to the curb”.

  16. Winds of change blowing thru Indy.

    Roll out the red carpet for Andrew Luck.

    The times they are a ‘changin’

  17. either

    a- Manning is currently on the block as we speak

    or

    b- Luck’s agent is on the phone getting a Ricky Williams type trade going

    Luck’s gotta be looking at this thinking “wow, Isray IS actually married to Manning and I’m gonna be holding a clipboard for 4 years plus if I go there”

    …if he isn”t thinking that, he should be….

  18. I higly doubt luck wants to sit behind manning for anytime. If they keep manning then luck will force a trade.

  19. Whatever.
    The Polians forgot that Manning runs that team. How dare they entertain any thought of drafting Luck and sending Manning off somewhere else. I don’t care what Manning says, he was only “stunned” that Irsey followed his orders so quickly and without warning.

  20. Let’s see, hmmmm. Stephen Jones is the CEO of the Dallas Cowboys and my old man, I mean his old man, Jerry Jones is the General Manager… What if, Stephen Jones, (Jerry’s eldest son by way of Powers Boothe slamming into the maid’s ass end when she bent over to retrieve a can of split pea soup while wearing just a pair of nicker’s out on the veranda, then little Stephen was born three and one half months later, he’s always been early, least the daughter-in-law says so who am I to judge!) hired a hitman cause he figured Jerry had gone nuts, Stephen has Jerry killed and then hires the entire Polian family to be G.M.! I think it’ll work! I’m gonna call Jerry Glanville and see if he won’t mind killin’ Dad, Jerry that is.

  21. It wasnt the coach’s fault the team didnt have the amo once manning went down. That falls on the personnel guy.

  22. @zlmillerkazz:

    THANK YOU! I was just saying the EXACT same thing in an earlier post on this same subject trying to prove to the Brady worshippers that Peyton is far more valuable to his team.

    And we certainly have zero reasons to believe that Peyton won’t be back to top form just as Brady was after missing a full season. From all accounts that I have noticed, he is on target and has been (or will be shortly) cleared to practice with his team. I cannot WAIT for him to backslap every one of these unbelievers who so quickly forget! Lol…

  23. zlmillerkazz – sorry..total incorrect

    1) Just because 1 team PLANS having a decent back-up and one doesn’t in no way reflects on the ability of one or the other. Just reflects on the incompetance of the Colt organization
    2) Nobody ever mentions the fact that the Patriots had the easiest schedule in about 3 decades that year…which is why they managed a winning record…but they STILL didnt make the playoffs.

  24. It looks to me like the reason the Polians were fired is the Manning contract. While Irsay may consider Manning family, nobody wants to give anybody $28,000,000 for nothing. The Polians are gone because they didn’t protect the interests of the team.

    Plus the fact that the quality of the personnel other than Manning was finally exposed…

  25. zlmillerkazz says: Jan 2, 2012 10:51 PM

    The Polians did not put together great teams despite 11 playoff appearances in 14 seasons… they simply were given one of the best players of all time (Peyton Manning)

    For example…

    Pats lose Brady for a season, 11-5 w/out him.

    Colts lose Manning for a season, 2-14 w/out him.

    There’s your difference.

    ————-

    Pats won 18 games the year prior, a difference of 7 wins

    the colts won 10 games the year prior, a difference of 8 wins. not that big a difference.

  26. Defending Chris Polian tells me all I need know about Peyton Manning.

    I believe he’s played his last snap for the Colts, but he’ll stay in the AFC for sure… As long as the league keeps the ‘Brother vs Brother’ Superbowl dream alive

  27. There’s no question Bill Polian put together a good team in Indy, with Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Freeny, Mathis and Bob Sanders. But his earlier success sure sounds like it went to his head to where he became the holy cow that could not be questioned (see the Marshall Faulk trade).

    Then, for all the world it sure seems he checked out a few years ago, while continuing to collect a paycheck. His son clearly was not as good as he was, as the last few drafts showed. Checking out is OK, but not if you continue cashing paychecks and insisting on having your way. And especially if your son can’t get the job done. And so, Bill Polian sold his friend and employer down the river. Did Manning not see that?

    Jim Irsay sounded sincere in the personal pain it caused him to fire someone who helped build a superbowl winning team, but it also sounded like he was smart enough to detect the combination of Bill checking out and Chris not getting it done.

    I’m not a Colts fan or hater, but all in all, I admire Irsay’s courage to do the tough thing just because it is right. Hope it works out for them.

  28. caseyanthonymunoz says:Jan 2, 2012 10:46 PM

    It’s cool Peyton. I’m sure most Colts fans were “stunned” when you single-handedly gave the Super Bowl to the Saints with that awful pick six you threw. Choke.

    —————

    Guess Manning must’ve beaten your team alot

  29. Peyton Manning is stunned.
    Tony Dungy is stunned.

    And of course….(drum roll, please)

    Tiki is flabbergasted.

  30. @zlmillerkazz

    The Patriots are a well coached team and had a serviceable backup in Matt Cassel.

    The Colts had a guy who was worse than Dan Orlovsky and refused to bench him so they can tank the season for Andrew Luck.

    That’s your difference

  31. the colts only got rid of him so there is no dissention when they draft Luck. sorry Peyton, you would look great in a chiefs uniform, just saying

  32. I never liked Polian and his arrogant stance. Everyone who ever HOF QB immediately becomes a genius in the new world order of instant results-oriented ape logic.

  33. Jan 2, 2012 10:49 PM

    Peyton, please go to Kansas City and save that town.

    ——————————————————–

    KC is unsavable, Pioli and Crennel will see to that!

  34. So much Peyton hate. Dang.

    Pollian shouldn’t be surprised though. As someone above pointed out….he had 1 good pick up (Peyton) and then coasted on those coat tails until now.

  35. Well you certainly can’t blame Jim Caldwell for the dearth of talent the Colts have. If losing one players destroys your franchise, then it’s not built on a solid foundation. I believe that’s on Polian.

  36. Bill Polian got credit for building the Bills team that went to 4 Super Bowls but in reality, it was the late John Butler that was responsible.

    Polian has taken credit over the years for what Butler did, plain and simple.

  37. Some of you people crack me up, how backwards do most of you have this. The Polians are gone for a few reasons but first and foremost because they wanted to get rid of Manning.

    Irsay loves Manning and he will retire a Colt in 3-4 years, and guess what he will not have Luck looking over his shoulder in that time. Luck will be playing somewhere else, this just put the Colts chance at drafting Luck at 80-20 against.

    Any body who doesn’t think Manning had major involvement in the decision is well stupid quite frankly.

    If Manning is cleared to play and feels good then the Colts will either draft Kalil or trade the first pick.

    I was stunned when the sun rose in the East this morning.

  38. There are a lot of Peyton haters on PFT…especially caseyanthonymunoz who either didn’t watch the SB (or understand football) or think he’s funny.

    Incidentally, I love Peyton, but I don’t believe him for one second that the firing of the Polians was shocking or surprising to him.

  39. Peyton Manning will be a NY Jet in 2012. He and his younger brother will own NY, and be able to pal around more.

  40. “Bill and I and Chris Polian has been here the whole time….

    Do they measure grammar on the Wonderlic?

    and zlmillerkazz…..

    “For example…
    Pats lose Brady for a season, 11-5 w/out him.
    Colts lose Manning for a season, 2-14 w/out him.
    There’s your difference.”

    The difference is that Brady participates in team building…Manning in me building. So without him, there was no team in place to fall back on.

  41. kmdp4 says:
    Jan 3, 2012 7:23 AM
    Some of you people crack me up, how backwards do most of you have this. The Polians are gone for a few reasons but first and foremost because they wanted to get rid of Manning.

    Irsay loves Manning and he will retire a Colt in 3-4 months, and guess what he will not have Luck looking over his shoulder in that time. Luck will be playing somewhere else, this just put the Colts chance at drafting Luck at 80-20 against.

    Any body who doesn’t think Archie Manning had major involvement in the decision is well stupid quite frankly.

    If Manning is cleared to play and feels good then the Colts will either draft Kalil or trade the first pick.
    ==================================
    Fixed it for you.
    I was stunned when the sun rose in the East this morning.

  42. So much Peyton hate. Dang.

    Pollian shouldn’t be surprised though. As someone above pointed out….he had 1 good pick up (Peyton) and then coasted on those coat tails until now.

    ==================================
    Goobs,

    What would you call Edgarin James, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Dwight Feeney? Draft busts?

  43. Sorry Colt Fans, its the beggining of the end…Manning is next, Isray is just waiting to see if he can get something in return…. Caldwell is next, he is an awful HC…the Polians? next stop St Louis, for sure…

  44. Look at it from Irsay’s perspective:
    Manning and likely Luck, probably more than $30 million for two players, one of whom isn’t likely to see the field next year. That’s a quarter of your salary cap in two players(assuming Manning can play again).

    You have a team that wasn’t any better than two wins. Clearly there’s more wrong than not having Manning. You need players, lots of them.

    Manning is traded to Miami. You will get the Dolphins #1(high first rounder), probably another #1, maybe a #2 and a player. You draft Luck, and suddenly you have an NFL starter QB, and some talent for trading Manning. That is why the Polians are gone. You can’t afford two QB’s and you need players to rebuild a lousy team.

  45. Having heard Irsay’s press conference it will be interesting to see how this shakes out. On the one hand he talks about making sure Peyton is healthly and thats the most important thing and then he says the Colts are in rebuild mode.

    Sounds like the Polians wanted to cast Manning aside and draft Luck but Irsay got sentimental and wants to give Manning as much time as possible.

    As I said earlier, either way I can see the Colts trading down for a bounty and drafting Rg3.

  46. I remember when “MY” team and owner thought they could do it without Bill.
    Umm, The Buffalo Bills have been in the gutter ever since.
    Good Luck Indy….

  47. If they were gonna stick with Manning then why not just keep Polian? If your gonna change the franchise why stop there? My question is this. How can they rebuild? they have the worst record and are near the top with salary cap issues. Why would you draft another Qb, pay that kind of money to sit him on the bench, meanwhile you pay Manning another 26 million, but then you let Wayne go, Mathis go, possibly Clark, it don’t make sense. You let 3 proven players go to pay a rookie to sit on the bench then pay Manning who doesn’t know he can play another 26 million? If their truely in a “rebuilding phase” then you gotta have money to pay for the rebuilding phase. The Colts have too much money in a 2-14 team as it is.

    For years we’ve said their biggest problem was that they pay Manning too much money and no talent anywhere on the defensive side, so why in the hell would you put yourself in a bigger hole, draft another qb, have him sit and have double the issues for 2 years? By the time he starts they will still have the same problems.

  48. I’m surprised Polian didn’t go to the NFL and try to make a rule that he couldn’t be fired.

  49. This is all about the tweeting tweeb Irsay who wants to put himself in the spotlight on this issue.

    He’ll be like a carny barker up to the last possible moment (March, when the big Peyton check is due?)

    I say if the medical report is favorable Irsay exacts a pound of flesh…maybe Cleveland who has a top 5 and another number one. Holmgren knows weak armed Colt is not the Real McCoy. Did you see the wind gusts Sunday in Cleveland?

  50. hairpie says:
    Pats won 18 games the year prior, a difference of 7 wins

    the colts won 10 games the year prior, a difference of 8 wins. not that big a difference
    ——————————————————–
    First, if you’re going to compare seasons, compare “apples to apples”; you should compare REGULAR seasons to REGULAR seasons. Countung the Patriots record as 18 wins in 2007 is including ALL their wins. In reality, they had 16 wins in 2007, a drop of 5 wins in 2008 under Cassell.

    If a franchise QB like Brady is worth 5 wins over his back-up, then the Colts should have gone at least 5-11 this year under Painter.

    Clearly the Colts were not the team they used to be. Indy was a playoff caliber team whose 10 wins in 2010 should have been a shocker.

    Between those 10 wins last year, the Manning “no physical after an injury” contract, and the “Gee, where is Jim Sorgi?” back-up fiasco, the Polians left the Colts in a HORRIBLE position …… they HAD to go.

  51. @zlmillerkazz

    The Patriots are a well coached team and had a serviceable backup in Matt Cassel.

    The Colts had a guy who was worse than Dan Orlovsky and refused to bench him so they can tank the season for Andrew Luck.

    That’s your difference

    ————

    Serviceable backup?? The guy hadn’t played starting QB since High School… get your facts right, same too the other dude who said they had a good backup. Cassel literally hadn’t played long-term football in years!!! LOL

  52. Irsays a businessman. Businessmen donot pay 26 million to someone that might be able to play at a high level again. Peyton will be gone and the Luck era begins.

  53. When Polian went to Indy, that was the best thing the city could have ever wished for!

    Now with him / them gone, the lights will go out, and they will spend years and years lost in the dark.

    He helped save the Irsay’s and the Colts! It was abysmal before he arrived. He could have gone anywhere.

  54. I kind of wonder if this guy is stupid or what? I mean he is supposedly in a meeting with Polian who gets called out of meeting and gets fired. Duh.

    That should tell you Mr Manning that your days are over as well. The signal was for you as in they knew you were there in his office and wanted to send a message to you.

    Now your supposed to get outraged and ask for trade to save their face.

  55. The next one is the coach. I mean the coach has sat back and done nothing with a great Qb like Manning in charge. He gets hurt and the true coaching ability shows. Time to go sucker.

  56. Note to Al Lerner: Admit that the Holmgren experiment didn’t work out and hire Bill Polian as President. Can you imagine the team he and Heckert can build with the draft picks you have? Where was Indy before he drafted Manning?

  57. Ooops…meant Randy Lerner. Al was on my mind because he was the only owner who cared enough to make a move like that. His son couldn’t give two craps about the team.

  58. george1859 says:Jan 3, 2012 8:58 AM

    I remember when “MY” team and owner thought they could do it without Bill.
    Umm, The Buffalo Bills have been in the gutter ever since.
    Good Luck Indy….

    Comparing Bill Polian in his glory years in the early 90’s to the semi-retired version of the last few years is apples and oranges. Apparently Irsay didn’t find the son to be a very competent GM, and had to can both of them to get rid of the son.

  59. Irsay’s old man let Johnny Unitas finish his career in San Diego.

    What makes you think this one won’t let Manning finish his somewhere else…because he doesn’t drink as much?

  60. psousa1 says:
    Jan 3, 2012 9:18 AM
    I’m surprised Polian didn’t go to the NFL and try to make a rule that he couldn’t be fired.
    __________________________________
    I’ve always hated Polian’s team building model so I don’t find it shocking that Irsay has seen enough of it as well.

    THE SINGLE BEST PART of his canning Polian is that he shouldn’t be able to be on the Comp Committee anymore unless they do that same weak crap they did with Fisher.

  61. Here’s Manning’s latest statement:

    “We’re talking about our idiot owner who got liquored up and ran his mouth off.” He continued, “The sad thing is, he’s a good owner. He’s a good owner, but he’s an idiot.”[

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