Peyton place: Colts drama continues to build

In his news conference to introduce Chuck Pagano as the new coach of the Indianapolis Colts, the focus shifted back to the Peyton Manning situation, as team owner Jim Irsay responded to the quarterback's remarks earlier this week.

Manning said earlier this week that the Colts facility was "not a very good place for healing," and on Thursday at Pagano's press conference, Irsay took a shot back, calling Manning "a politician," via the Indianapolis Star.

"He's a politician. When it comes to being competitive on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the highest, we're both 11s," Irsay said. "There have been plenty of eggshells scattered around this building by him (Manning) with his competitive desire to win.

"I don't think it's in the (best) interest to paint the Horseshoe in a negative light, I really don't. . . The horseshoe always comes first. One thing (Manning has) 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."

Manning responded to Irsay's comments, saying he did not mean to cast the organization in a bad light.

"At this point, Mr. Irsay and I owe it to each other and to the fans of the organization to handle this appropriately and professionally, and I think we will. I've already reached out to Mr. Irsay," Manning said. "I wasn't trying to paint the Colts in a bad light, but it's tough when so many people you've known for so long are suddenly leaving. I feel very close to a lot of these guys and we've done great things together. It's hard to watch an old friend clean out his office. That's all I was trying to say.

"I just want to keep rehabbing and working hard, and when the time is right for Mr. Irsay and I to sit down, I look forward to a healthy conversation about my future. I've worked too hard and have such great respect and have so many great relationships inside the building and out, and it's incredibly important that those remain."

Reading between the lines, columnist Bob Kravitz asserts that Manning knows his time in Indy is up, and so do does Irsay, and the quicker the breakup is handled, the quicker both sides can move on. No one, of course, is admitting that yet, but the situation is telling enough that Kravitz's assessment appears to be the correct one.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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