Coughlin reflects on Manning-Rivers trade
Eli Manning | New York Giants
Eli Manning | New York Giants
Managing Editor
Posted Dec 4, 2013


Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin have evolved into one of the top quarterback-coaching duos in the NFL. The Giants' head man spoke with reporters on Wednesday and recalled the momentous day that brought Manning to New York.

Nine years ago the New York Giants made a trade that changed the course of the franchise’s history. On draft day in 2004, then-general manager Ernie Acorsi swung a deal to send the Giants’ No.4 overall pick, Phillips Rivers, a 2004 third-round pick (K Nick Kaeding), a 2005 first-round pick (LB Shawne Merriman) and a 2005 fifth-round draft pick (OT Roman Oben, a pick eventually traded to Tampa Bay) in exchange for the San Diego Chargers’ No. 1 overall pick in quarterback Eli Manning.

Prior to draft day Manning consulted with his father and former New Orleans Saints great Archie Manning, who insisted New York would be a better fit and organization for his son to prosper.

Boy was he right.

If two Super Bowl titles over the past six seasons are any indication, Manning has lived up to the hype.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin reflected on the day his general manager pulled off the trade that brought the franchise signal-caller to the Big Apple.

“I remember Ernie Acorsi making that deal and being 100 percent in belief that this was the right thing to do for our franchise,” said Coughlin. “I remember that Ernie had studied Eli since he was a freshman in college and had a really strong feeling about him. I remember the fact that he had the confidence and the constitution if you will to push the deal through. It wasn’t an easy deal to make.”

While Manning has two Lombardi Trophies and matching Super Bowl MVPs to boot, Rivers has struggled to get his team into February’s big game despite some impressive seasons from a statistical standpoint. By the numbers Rivers has the edge over Manning posting a 75-49 career record as a starter along with 212 touchdowns and 102 interceptions; producing a sterling 95.6 passer rating. Manning on the other hand is 83-64 under center for the Giants; tallying 226 touchdowns and 162 interceptions for a 82.0 passer rating. While the stats may lean in Rivers’ favor, his 3-4 postseason record compared to Manning’s 8-3 mark is without question the most telling figure.

In Coughlin’s mind, there was no hesitation on the Giants' part when they made the move to acquire Manning.

“It was a move that he made with great conviction and obviously Phillip Rivers has had an outstanding career in San Diego and Eli Manning has had an outstanding career here. I think you have a win-win situation there,” noted Coughlin.

Nearly a decade since the trade that shifted the tide of the Giants and Chargers, Coughlin has no doubt his front office made the right choice.

“None whatsoever,” said Coughlin on whether he questions the decision to trade for Manning. “There are a couple things {trophies} in the hallway out there you might want to take a look at.”


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