The New York Giants and Tom Coughlin went their separate ways on Black Monday. Coughlin won two Super Bowls with the Giants and had Eli Manning leading the way at quarterback, despite the both of them fighting tons of criticism through the years.

At Tuesday’s press conference, Coughlin delivered one final message to the Giants, and was asked what he would say to Eli Manning, who was sitting in the crowd as his coach of 12 years was saying his goodbyes.

Coughlin’s message:

“He can handle it all. He’s done it before, he’ll handle it again. He’s extremely bright, he’s extremely competitive. He’s what you want. A son to be made out of, because … I mean, he thinks he’s the reason. He’s not the reason that I’m [leaving]. Eli, it’s not you. It’s us.”

As Coughlin is speaking, AP cameras show a clearly emotional Eli Manning, his lower lip quivering as his now former coach delivers his words.

Tom Coughlin was never described as a “player’s coach”. He was always considered a hard-nosed guy, no nonsense, be at meetings five minutes early, or you’re late type of guy. This would leave you to believe that players didn’t care too much for Coughlin, but Manning’s reaction clearly displays otherwise.

Coughlin’s tenure in New York was certainly rocky at times, but his highs couldn’t have been higher.

About Harry Lyles Jr.

Harry Lyles Jr. is an Atlanta-based writer, and a Georgia State University graduate.