Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Peterson Makes Colts Regret Their Parting Comments

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Peterson Makes Colts Regret Their Parting Comments

Article excerpt

Byline: Bart Hubbuch, The Times-Union

Nothing brings a smile faster to Mike Peterson's face these days than a peek at the NFL's latest batch of statistics.

The Jaguars' veteran middle linebacker can't help but notice that his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, are ranked 32nd and last in the league by a wide margin in both total defense and passing defense.

Why is Peterson getting so much enjoyment out of the Colts' current defensive misery? Because these are the same Indianapolis Colts -- from team president Bill Polian to coach Tony Dungy -- who basically told Peterson in February of 2003 that he wasn't good enough to be brought back.

Now that he and the first-place Jaguars are 3-0 and preparing to play host to the 2-1 Colts today in front of a huge crowd at Alltel Stadium, Peterson can't resist firing back at his old bosses.

"I think my point is proven,'' said Peterson, an emerging star who has led the Jaguars in tackles each of his first two seasons in Jacksonville. "Put the tape on of my play, and my point is proven. I can just hand [Polian] a game tape and tell him, 'Watch this!' And I'm 3-0. What's their record?"

Polian and Dungy cemented Peterson's hard feelings toward the team that made him a second-round pick out of the University of Florida in 1999 with some public comments nearly two years ago that infuriate Peterson to this day.

With the Colts facing a salary-cap crunch brought on by impending contract talks with Peyton Manning, they let Peterson walk because Polian and Dungy considered him potentially too expensive for his talent level and position at the time (weak-side linebacker).

"Mike has been a good player for us,'' Polian told The Indianapolis Star. "But [Dungy] made the point that, at these prices, you'd like them to be great players, not good players.''

That sentiment made sense to the Colts then and still does, mostly because they have been so adamant about re-signing Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison and the rest of their offensive talent -- even at the expense of their defense. …

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