Even while defending Peyton Manning, former Colts general manager Bill Polian couldn’t resist an opportunity to slight the Patriots.
On Wednesday, Polian weighed in on the controversy — created by Colts owner Jim Irsay‘s need to hear himself talk — regarding Manning’s exit from Indianapolis.
Irsay had referenced the quarterback’s lone Super Bowl ring, compared to Tom Brady‘s three, and the team’s decision to value championships over stats moving forward.
Polian served as Colts GM for the entirety of Manning’s tenure, and he defended his and Manning’s legacy in an interview with USA Today.
“We never lost to Baltimore in the playoffs,” Polian said, referring to Indianapolis’ loss to the Ravens in the first round last season — the first of the post-Polian era. “Last year, they lost in the playoffs and were one and done.
“That aside — our record is what it is. 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.”
Manning may have won just one ring in Indianapolis, but that championship was won cleanly, Polian said, not through some backdoor methods used by a certain other AFC power.
“And here’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.”
Manning returns to Indianapolis for the first time when Andrew Luck and Co. host his Broncos this Sunday night.