While it’s debatable (sort of) whether Colts owner Jim Irsay was taking a swipe at former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning when explaining that their separation arose from a desire to put Lombardis over stats, Irsay’s words definitely amounted to an indictment of G.M. Bill Polian’s work.
And while Manning will let his actions do the talking, Polian has opted for words. (For now.)
Understandably defensive, Polian points out to Jim Corbett of USA Today that Polian’s Colts “never lost to Baltimore in the playoffs.” Last year, in the first season of the new “choose championships” approach, Indy went one and out by losing to the Ravens.
“That aside — our record is what it is,” Polian said. “We didn’t win multiple Super Bowls. But I think we did a hell of a lot to make the city and state of Indiana proud — on and off the field.”
Polian also focuses on the consequences of Irsay’s comments for the team’s current power structure.
“Now it’s up to this new group that he’s put together in the image and likeness that he wants, with the systems he wants, with the people he wants,” Polian said. “It’s up to them to meet or exceed that standard. . . . I wish them well.”
In other words, good luck with that.
And good luck to the New England Patriots in staying out of this fight. Polian has pulled them in by taking a backhanded shot at their three pre-Spygate Super Bowl rings.
“[H]ere’s the most important thing of all — and it goes unfortunately unspoken because of the focus on the Super Bowl and the failure to win more than one Super Bowl: We did it — and Peyton did it — the right way, honestly, fairly and squarely.”
And so the issue that some believe was a media creation, and that some in the media amazingly are whining about having to cover, continues to expand, three days before Peyton goes back to Indy.
We’ve got a feeling Polian won’t be sitting in Irsay’s suite for the game.