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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Manning: No answer on Irsay talk

By Jeff Legwold
ESPN.com

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- With 16 words, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning took a brewing controversy with Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay on Wednesday and pushed it aside for others to pick at.

Asked following Broncos practice about Irsay's comments, in which the owner expressed frustration and disappointment that the Colts won only one Super Bowl during the QB's tenure with the team, Manning simply said: "I don't have any answer for you on that or any comment on any of that.''

And Manning didn't.

He was expansive on the Colts' defense, his former teammates still there, Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck and what on-field challenges Sunday's opponent presents, but as for adding fuel to the hype-built fire, Manning didn't go there.

Broncos coach John Fox, who called Irsay's comments "disappointing and inappropriate'' as well as "a cheap shot'' in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday, also decided not to add to the swirl. 

"Those are yesterday's comments. Any comments moving forward will be relative to the game in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil [Stadium] against the Indianapolis Colts," Fox said following Wednesday's practice.

Fox said Manning would handle the return to Indianapolis like "he does everything. I've not been around a guy who cares more about winning than Peyton Manning. … I'm sure he'll do just fine.''

Manning said he doesn't know what his emotions will be like as he arrives at the stadium Sunday or in the pregame hours. He said he was far more concerned with what the Colts could do on defense, including end Robert Mathis, who leads the league with 9.5 sacks.

"If all I had to [do] is walk in there and wave and sign some autographs and kiss some babies, it would be easy,'' Manning said. "But I have to figure out how to stay away from Mathis and complete some passes against [Vontae] Davis, [Greg] Toler and [Darius] Butler, who I think are really, really good cover corners.''

Manning was asked whether Sunday's game would be similar to facing his brother Eli. The Broncos defeated the Giants 41-23 in Week 2, and Peyton said following the game that he was glad it was likely the final time in his career he would have to face his younger brother.

"It's no question it's unique,'' Manning said. " ... Somebody asked me earlier, is this kind of like playing against Eli, and I said I know Robert Mathis hits harder than Eli, I can guarantee you that.''

With a playoff-like media scrum that included several outlets from Indianapolis, Manning also addressed how well things have worked out in Denver since his release by the Colts. The Broncos went 13-3 last season and are 6-0 this season with the highest-scoring offense in the league.

"I've learned in life you need to be at peace with other people's decisions that affect you but you have no control over,'' Manning said. "I think that's been good advice I've had over the years, and it's certainly served me well in this particular scenario.''