While some in the media have debated the intent and the message from Colts owner Jim Irsay when he explained to USA Today that the team’s new focus is championships over stats, Broncos coach John Fox saw no gray area in Irsay’s words.
Fox called them in an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio “disappointing” and “inappropriate,” and a “cheap shot” at former Colts (current Broncos, if you didn’t know) quarterback Peyton Manning.
Per a league source, Fox wasn’t only defending Manning. While angry about the belief that Irsay was disrespecting his former franchise quarterback, Fox was equally angry about the notion that, for the men who built and coached those Colts teams under Manning, “only” one Super Bowl somehow wasn’t good enough.
Fox, we’re told, wanted to stand up for the men who grind every year toward the possibility of a championship. The idea that being consistently competitive and winning a Super Bowl left Irsay “frustrated” left Fox livid.
To be sure, Fox’s decision to tee off on Irsay wasn’t accidental of spontaneous. The comments came during a weekly appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, and he planned his comments exactly the way they were delivered. Folks around the league were amazed by the development, because Fox has a reputation for always choosing a path away from potential controversy.
Fox embraced controversy this week, and it got the attention of everyone who heard them — including most importantly his players.