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Bill Polian: Jim Irsay should be grateful for Super Bowl ring

John Fox isn't the only one taking offense at Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay's comments about the Colts' decision to part with Peyton Manning after the 2011 season.

Former Colts general manager Bill Polian -- fired by Irsay after the team went 2-14 in 2011 without an injured Manning -- also fired back at his old boss on Tuesday.

Irsay started the contretemps in a USA Today article about the Colts' momentous decision to release Manning and draft Andrew Luck after Manning missed all of 2011 with multiple neck surgeries.

"We've changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these," Irsay said, showing the Super Bowl ring he won with Manning in the 2006 season. "...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," Irsay said, flashing the ring again.

Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Polian was asked what Irsay was trying to say.

"Truthfully I don't know. I think he'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," Polian said.

"...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."

So far, Manning has stayed out of this back-and-forth. His new team, the 6-0 Denver Broncos, visits the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, and the Colts are planning a tribute to Manning, their former quarterback, who won four league MVP awards during his 14-year career in Indianapolis.

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