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Bill Polian doesn't 'know what to make' of Jim Irsay's comments

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

As we make our way through Peyton Returns to Indy Week!, the absurdity grows. First, it started with Colts owner Jim Irsay having to defend his decision to part ways with a cap-busting, broken-down Peyton Manning and draft Andrew Luck.

That opened the floodgates for everyone else to weigh in.

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy said the decision to part ways with Manning was never "a no-brainer," current Broncos coach John Fox called Irsay's comments "a cheap shot." And now former Colts president Bill Polian has some words for Irsay, the man who fired him after the 2011 season.

Apparently, Polian took exception to Irsay telling USAToday.com: "We've changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one [Super Bowl ring]. ...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,"

Polian's response, during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio (via NFL.com):

"Truthfully I don't know," he said. "I think [Irsay's] got some misstatements of fact in there. For one thing, I don't believe that Baltimore had two at the time that we were fired, all of us, Peyton, me and the rest of the staff, (coach) Jim Caldwell at the end of the '11 season. ...

"I really don't know what to make of it to tell you the truth," Polian continued. "I do know that he was very upset after the loss in the second Super Bowl and I think it's pretty telling that getting to the Super Bowl in his mind doesn't count. And for anyone who is in the game and who has to make that journey from training camp to the Super Bowl, you know that it's awfully difficult to get there.

"And as John Fox said today, if you have one, you count yourself lucky. I've had teams that have been to six Super Bowls and won one. I'm not ashamed of that record by any means, and I'm certainly not ashamed of what we did in Indianapolis."

We'll repeat what we wrote Tuesday: Both Manning and Luck made the playoffs last season, and now Manning leads the NFL's most explosive offense. And despite Monday night's setback, the Colts are the favorites to win the AFC South. It's easy to take shots at Irsay for any number of reasons, but trading in Manning for Luck was absolutely the right decision.

Polian might not like the perceived pot-shots from Irsay about how he ran the team, but that's one of the benefits to owning the team. You can say whatever you want.

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