Manning's answer to come Sunday

October, 16, 2013
10/16/13
6:15
PM ET
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos like signs. Big ones, small ones, lighted ones, whatever. They have them hanging all over their workplace in south suburban Denver.

And it while it presents an odd sort of contradiction given the people who are supposed to be reading the signs routinely say they don’t need “additional things’’ to fire them up, the signs are there. Most with the big type, bold letters.

[+] EnlargePeyton Manning
Joey Foley/Getty ImagesNeither Peyton Manning nor Jim Irsay looked happy when they parted in 2012.
One of them in one of the building’s high-traffic areas offers one of Broncos coach John Fox’s favorite missives: "WELL DONE IS BETTER THAN WELL SAID."

It comes to mind because folks wanted quarterback Peyton Manning to say something Wednesday. To offer something about what Colts owner Jim Irsay said, something about Irsay's explanation of how frustrated and disappointed he was the team won only one Super Bowl in Manning’s tenure in Indianapolis. That they had "changed" the team's program with Manning's release.

Boom goes the social-media dynamite. Irsay, who spent most of Wednesday on Twitter trying to explain what he meant, held a media gathering in Indianapolis. He said his comments in an interview with veteran USA Today reporter Jarrett Bell were taken out of context. It is just one man’s opinion, but I’ve known Bell a long time and I’m certain what appeared in the story is what was said, exactly in the context it was said.

To be fair, Irsay has said similar things in the weeks and months since the team released Manning in March 2012. But in what is easily a gold medal performance in the timing-is-everything Olympics, Irsay said it this time as Manning and the Broncos approached on his team’s schedule.

Manning’s former coach Tony Dungy -- the guy folks often go to when they want to know what Manning’s thinking when Manning won’t say -- offered a theory to ESPN's Ed Werder. He said Irsay was simply trying to ratchet up the pressure on Manning to "have him make it such a big game he doesn’t perform well. I can’t figure any other reason to go this way." Dungy went on to say the Colts "would be playing in L.A." right now without Manning.

Clearly, and by almost any objective measure, without Manning the Colts wouldn’t have the new stadium that likely provides a comfortable living for Irsay and other Colts executives. Without it, the city would not have hosted a Super Bowl and hosted it well. There is also a certain speed-of-light swirl to this, in that it is all tailor-made for social media, talk radio, television, websites or any other platform where content comes fast and furious. Maybe it all got away from the often-flippant Irsay before he remembered Twitter is fast and forever.

Which brings it all back around to the guy at the center of this -- one Peyton Williams Manning. And when Manning was asked Wednesday to comment about his former boss, he essentially did what he often does when the coin flip falls a certain way, he deferred.

"I don’t have any answer for you on that, or any comment on any of that," he said.

Which means Manning passed on the chance at "well said" and that leaves only "well done."

On Sunday.

Jeff Legwold

ESPN Denver Broncos reporter

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