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Tom Coughlin Comes to the Defense of Eli Manning After Benching

Tom Coughlin may no longer be the coach of the Giants, but he quickly came to his former quarterback Eli Manning’s defense after news broke that the Giants are benching him for the foreseeable future and will start Geno Smith against the Raiders Sunday, Ari Gilberg of the New York Daily News reports.

“Surprised is not the word. My sentiments are totally with Eli Manning,” Coughlin said on 1010 AM Tuesday. “I love the kid.”

Coughlin and Manning were joined at the hip throughout their time in New York, as both joined the Giants in 2004 and were instrumental to the team’s success and failure.

The two developed a strong bond and led the Giants to two Super Bowl wins in 2008 and 2012.

In addition to expressing his bewilderment at the move, Coughlin also praised Manning as not only a good player, but a good person as well.

“He is a class act. He is a two-time Super Bowl Champion,” Coughlin said on the radio show. “He is the finest, most humblest young man in that locker room.”

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