Tom Coughlin to emotional Eli Manning: 'Eli, it's not you'

Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts while listening to former head coach Tom Coughlin speak during a news conference on Tuesday. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Coughlin's final New York Giants news conference ended with a message to his Super Bowl-winning quarterback -- one that left Eli Manning emotional and choking back tears.

With Manning and some current and former Giants in attendance, Coughlin was asked what his message would be to the franchise quarterback, who now must play for another coach for the first time in his pro career.

That's when things got emotional.

"He can handle it all," Coughlin said with Manning seated just a few rows in front of him. "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."

Then Coughlin pointed to Manning to tell him it's not his fault. Manning, as you can see here, is clearly emotional, with his lip quivering.

"He thinks he's the reason," Coughlin said. "He's not the reason. Eli, it's not you. It's not you. It's us. We win, we lose together. When we lose, I lose. When we win, you guys win. That's the way it is. That's the game. I know what it is. I got the game. I got it.

"But what I would tell him, he's going to be right in here in about two days starting to work on next year, just like he always does. That's never going to change. God bless him for it."

Coughlin finished his news conference and walked off.

Manning was emotional Monday when talking about how that was likely his final team meeting with Coughlin.

That, though, paled in comparison to Tuesday when it appeared as if the two-time Super Bowl MVP had to do everything in his power to keep it together.

"I think he has done a great job and he definitely has not failed," Manning said Monday. "We as players failed him by not playing to the level that we could."