Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin coached the Giants in 203 games, including the playoffs, and Eli Manning was the starting quarterback for all but nine of them, so it’s no surprise that he had a reaction to the news that Manning has been benched after 210 straight starts for the team.
Coughlin appeared on 1010XL in Jacksonville Tuesday to help raise money for The Jay Fund, a charity he created in honor of the late Jay McGillis after McGillis, who played for Coughlin at Boston College, died of leukemia. The move involving Manning came up when the discussion moved to football.
“Surprised is not the word,” Coughlin said, via Mike Garafolo of NFL Media. “My sentiments are totally with Eli Manning. I love the kid. He is a class act. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion. He is the finest, most humblest young man in that locker room. I haven’t followed the Giants. I know it’s a disappointing year by my thoughts are strictly with Eli. I’m very upset about when I heard that.”
It remains to be seen what the Giants will do with Manning come the offseason — he’s due a $5 million roster bonus on the third day of the 2018 league year — but his history with Coughlin means there’s little question that there will be speculation about him moving to Jacksonville as Blake Bortles‘ successor.