Eli Manning on number retirement, Monday Night Football, Tom Coughlin | Giants News Conference

Former New York Giants QB and 2x Super Bowl Champion Eli Manning touches on how honored he is to have his number retired and reflects on his time playing in New York under coach Tom Coughlin. I can’t say enough great things about Coach Coughlin and owe so much of my success to him and just the way he pushed me. He taught me just the importance of preparation and hard work and team above self. Just all the lessons that I learned, and I feel that’s one of the great honors and privileges that I had was being able to play under him for 12 seasons. We still talk. We still communicate. I still look at him as a mentor and keep him in my life. I’ve talked about with him and with Judy (Coughlin) and with everything going on and his life. I’ve known about it for a long time, and I’ve seen the struggles that he’s going through dealing with that. He all of a sudden kind of has a different role going on right now with him. But I think he as always, he’s been open about it and he’s talked about it and he’s dealing with it and making the best of it. But I’ve enjoyed doing a Monday Night (Football). I got to have dinner with my kids on Monday night and then go down and call the game. I’ve enjoyed that aspect and just getting back into the game, breaking down film, kind of talk Xs and Os with my brother, which he explains but then try to explain that to the fans. I think just doing it in this more relaxed way, right? I don’t have to – I don’t know the name of every single player on the field. I don’t know who the left guard is for the Baltimore Ravens, necessarily. That whole playoff stretch was probably very important in my career of ’07 and Coach Coughlin’s. We were probably both on that line of, ‘hey, do these guys have what it takes or not?’ That stretch of winning those playoff games and going into Green Bay and then of course, going against what could be known as the greatest team of all time in the ’07 Patriots team in the Super Bowl and being able to beat them. I think there had been kind of glimpses of good and some bad and all that, some ups and downs. I think that kind of just proved that ‘hey, he can play well in the biggest moments.’ That’s something that we were able to do quite a few times. It was obviously and unbelievable feeling and it’s something you share with your teammates. You see your teammates from that ’07 team and it was just a very special bond. A lot of us came in together in (Shaun) O’Hara and Chris Snee. I mean, David Diehl had been one year before and Kareem McKenzie had just joined, so you kind of had a lot of guys that were young coming in together – Brandon Jacobs. To kind of stay together and go win a championship was very special and you just had a special connection and bond with those players and those coaches from that season. Obviously, you come into the NFL and you’re 22 or 23 years old and I think my mindset when I first got there was all of a sudden you come into that locker room and you see Amani Toomer and Michael Strahan and Luke Petitgout and Tiki Barber and these guys who have had success and these guys who are big personalities and these guys who have families and kids. You’re like, ‘holy cow, I’m not in college anymore.’ In college, you’re all the same age. You’re all kind of going through the same issues and now you’re with some grown men. My take was hey, I’m going to keep my head down. I’m going to work hard. I’m going to be in early, I’m going to stay late. I’m going to try to ask good questions when I need to and just try to earn the respect of my teammates by just being dependable, showing up and trying to do all the right things and earn it through just being tough and taking hits and getting up and being there every week. My dad grew up listening to the Giants on the radio just because of Charlie Conerly. Charlie Conerly was a great quarterback and played for Ole Miss and came to the New York Giants and played his 15 years with the Giants at quarterback. I think it’s pretty neat, kind of the similarities that Charlie Conerly and I had. I won the Charlie Conerly Award two times when I was at Ole Miss for the best football player in the state of Mississippi and had a friendship with his wife, Perian Conerly who just passed away a few months ago. My dad always kind of knew about the New York Giants growing up and it was one of his dad’s favorite teams because of Charlie Conerly. When I started my first game 17 years ago versus the Falcons, it was not the thought that, ‘hey, my jersey’s definitely getting retired with the New York Giants. I’ve got this thing figured out.’ It’s just surreal and to go there and travel and go to the game that Week 1 and see Giants No. 10 jerseys – as I was driving, I always see a couple other friends and teammates jerseys still around. I take a picture and send it to them. If I see a No. 60 or a No. 51 and (Zak) DeOssie or Chris Snee and some of those guys, or Brandon Jacobs, so it’s still out there and still a lot of fans.

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