"It was an honor and privilege to coach Eli, and to go through the wonderful and magnificent moments that he and his teammates provided for all of us in the world championship 2007-08 and 2011-12 seasons," Tom Coughlin said, via the Giants website. "The New York Giants, flagship franchise of the National Football League, have four world championships. You have four trophies sitting there. You have (Phil) Simms, you have (Jeff) Hostetler, and you have Eli for two.
"Eli Manning not only is the quarterback on those great teams, but he is the MVP of the Super Bowls. He's an incredible big-game performer. You talk about a guy that's great to coach, focused every day, took tremendous pride in preparing, practice, had a great sense of humor, was a cynic in the locker room. But the guys loved him and they loved him for it, and they played for him. The guys that had the opportunity to play with him know what it's like to be with a guy with as much talent, as much grit, as much determination."
Coughlin coached Manning for 12 seasons, capturing two Lombardi Trophies and two NFC East titles.
The veteran started 210 consecutive regular-season games for the Giants during his illustrious career, the third-longest streak by a quarterback in league history.
"I can't tell you what that means to a coach, to be able to prepare every week knowing your starter is going to be there," Coughlin said. "It's almost impossible today to be able to do that. Some teams are fortunate ... You get a guy nicked, you get him hurt. I remember once he was hurt with a shoulder. He didn't practice all week. We didn't know if he'd be alright. He started and played the whole game and played well. It meant a great deal to us to be able to prepare knowing he was going to be on the field and be the starting quarterback for all of those games."
As Manning's 16-year career ends, Coughlin expressed just how important Manning's presence was to the storied franchise.
"Here goes the retirement of a great, great football Giant," he said. "I and my coaching staff and our teams from 2004 right through 2015, for me at least, my part, hold Eli in the highest respect and congratulate him and his family, and his mom and dad, for all of the wonderful, wonderful experiences he's had, and the happiness and pride that he has brought to the entire Giants family, the fanfare, the fans, the family and everyone that's taken so much pride from his performances and for what he's meant. He's always been there to make the call, to stand up and represent the Giants in the best possible way."