Mora, Manning’s head coach for the first four years of his career, revealed Wednesday that his former quarterback invited him to the event, but that he turned down the invitation.
“I told him I wasn’t going to come,” Mora said on WNDE radio’s “Query & Schultz” show, according to Dakota Crawford of the Indianapolis Star.
“I had reasons. I would love to come back there, but because of the way I left the Colts, my relationship with (former Colts general manager Bill) Polian, I don’t know. I just wouldn’t feel that I would feel comfortable being there.”
Mora coached Indianapolis for four seasons, going 32-32 while leading the team to the playoffs twice, where it went 0-2. Yet, it was a staffing dispute that led to his departure from the team, as he was fired for refusing to cut ties with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
“That’s exactly true,” Mora said. “It was either fire Vic of fire me. I was asked by Bill Polian – I was told by Bill Polian – he wanted me to fire Vic Fangio. I said, ‘Well, he doesn’t deserve to be fired. He’s an outstanding coach, was then and he still is.’ So we had talks with (owner) Jim Irsay, it came down and I wouldn’t do it …
“I couldn’t fire a friend or a coach that I felt was very qualified that didn’t deserve to be fired. So I got fired. That was it.”
It was Mora’s last coaching job in the NFL. He was replaced in Indianapolis by Tony Dungy, and Manning ultimately finished his tenure in Indy being coached by Jim Caldwell.
– With h/t to Pro Football Talk
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