Both men arrived at the New York Giants in 2004: Coughlin succeeded Jim Fassel after a 4-12 ’03 season, Manning via a draft day trade. Coughlin was known as a strict disciplinarian who set clocks ahead and fined players for being two minutes early to team meetings.
Many quarterbacks might have chafed under such conditions…but not No. 10.
Manning will announce his retirement from the NFL after 16 seasons at a press conference Friday. Coughlin, who is not known for showing his emotions, released a statement via The Jay Fund Foundation about his quarterback.
“Eli, I want to thank you for all that you have done for the Giants, for the NFL, and for the community. You and I came to the Giants together, and it has been an honor and a privilege to work with you and to be your coach. Thank you for all the great memories,” Coughlin said in the statement. “I can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for you and (wife) Abby and the children. You are certainly deserving of all the accolades that come your way.
“In the locker room, you were always an incredible combination of a quiet leader and fierce competitor; you represented the Giants in all matters with the utmost integrity and your leadership and skill as a quarterback were key to two Super Bowl victories and being named MVP twice. But it’s the person you are that will be missed the most by your teammates and the entire Giants organization.
“Archie and Olivia should be so proud of the son they raised. Your words and actions epitomize who you are as a player, a teammate, a dad, and a human being. Thank you for all the joy you’ve given to everyone you’ve touched as a New York Giant.”