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Tony Dungy: Jim Irsay making return of Peyton Manning “personal”

Peyton Manning is going to have a lot on his mind Sunday night, with or without Jim Irsay’s help. (Jack Dempsey / AP)

Just what was Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay doing when he seemingly dissed his former quarterback for winning just one Super Bowl?

Tony Dungy, who coached Peyton Manning to the championship when both men worked for Irsay, thinks the owner was making the quarterback’s impending return to Indianapolis with the Denver Broncos “personal” as well as doing a bit of a psych job.

“I think that’s what he’s trying to do,” Dungy texted ESPN’s Ed Werder. “Have him make it such a big game he doesn’t perform well. I can’t figure any other reason to go this way.”

In a USA Today interview, Irsay he was “frustrated” at owning only one Super Bowl ring despite 11 trips to the playoffs with Manning. Broncos coach John Fox ripped Irsay’s comments in a SiriusXM NFL interview and Dungy admitted he was mystified by them.

“Without Peyton, there would be no Lucas Oil Stadium,” Dungy told ESPN. “This team would be playing in L.A. right now. I don’t understand Jim saying this.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

Related: John Fox says Jim Irsay took a “cheap shot” at Peyton Manning

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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