By Reggie Hayes, The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.) –
INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay expressed some irritation with quarterback Peyton Manning’s comments earlier this week about the atmosphere around the Colts.
Manning told the Indianapolis Star on Monday that the Colts complex was “not a great place for healing” and “not a real good environment down there right now.”
Irsay, speaking after the Colts introduced Chuck Pagano as the team’s new coach on Thursday afternoon, said Manning should have kept his comments in house.
“There’s not any sort of bad situation around here for healing or anything like that,” Irsay said. “That’s not a correct perspective. Like I said, keep it in house, in our family. Talk to each other if you have problems. We’ll work it through hand-in-hand and continue to talk as we get closer to the league year.”
Irsay said he and Manning are, on a competitive scale of 1-to-10, “both 11s.” He called Manning a “politician.”
Manning had mentioned that employees at the Colts complex were “walking on eggshells.”
“There have been plenty of eggshells around this building scattered by him by his competitive desire to win,” Irsay said.
“I don’t think it’s in the (best) interest to paint the Horseshoe in a negative light,” Irsay said. “I really don’t. He’s such a big part of that. The Horseshoe always comes first. One thing he’s always known, and he’s been around it so long – you keep it in the family. If you’ve got a problem, talk to each other. It’s not about campaigning or anything like that.”
Irsay reiterated that Manning’s status is a “health issue” that has yet to reach a point where a decision can be made on whether he returns to the Colts.
Irsay prefaced his comments by saying he has “so much affection and appreciation for Peyton. We’re family, we always will be, and we are.”