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QB coach who helped Eli develop leaves Giants

Giants quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer, left, was instrumental

Giants quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer, left, was instrumental in helping Eli Manning become a franchise quarterback. (File photo, 2007) Photo Credit: Newsday / David L. Pokress

Chris Palmer "retired" as the Giants' quarterbacks coach Friday but reportedly will be named head coach of the New York Sentinels of the UFL.

Palmer was brought in to help sculpt Eli Manning into a quarterback, and by the time Palmer's first season with the Giants was over, they had won a Super Bowl. Then came the Pro Bowl and the $100-million contract for Manning.

Now, after just three years of molding, Palmer has left the Giants. He has coached for 38 years, 20 of them in the NFL.

"Chris did an outstanding job coaching Eli," Tom Coughlin said. "He has been Eli's coach and confidant in the years that he's been here. Eli and Chris had a very good working relationship. I believe Eli has established himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the National Football League."

This past season, Manning completed a career-high 62.3 percent of his passes for 4,021 yards and 27 touchdowns.

"I really enjoyed working with coach Palmer," Manning said. "Over the last three years, we've had some great success and I've improved as a quarterback. He's a terrific coach when it comes to technique. He's great not only on the field but also in the meeting room. I'm really sorry to see him go.''

"It was very rewarding to me to work with Eli, because you had a player who grew every year," said Palmer, 60. "We won the Super Bowl. He was a guy that you looked forward to coming to work with every day, because he was going to challenge you and he was going to look for ways to get better. We hit it off from day one."

Palmer was the head coach of the Browns in 1999-2000 and twice worked as an assistant under Coughlin, first as the Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive coordinator in 1997-98 and with the Giants. In addition, Palmer coached for two teams in Houston - the Oilers and Texans - as well as the Patriots and Cowboys.

He was Tony Romo's coach in Dallas before coming to the Giants for the 2007 season, replacing Kevin Gilbride, who was promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator late in the 2006 season.

"Because of my knowledge of his unique abilities as a quarterback coach, I wanted him here and I wanted him to be able to work with Eli," Coughlin said. "He came in and we had a historic year here in 2007. Eli had a great playoff run and Chris was a part of that."

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