Manning 'sad' Sullivan is leaving

Former quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan will always be appreciative of the opportunity the Giants gave him and all the time he spent with the organization, but he’s looking forward to a new challenge as offensive coordinator with the Buccaneers.

“Coach [Greg] Schiano has a great vision of where he wants that program to go. I’m excited to work with the coaches there and meet those players. As Coach [Tom] Coughlin has said many times here, you get to the top of the mountain, you realize there’s one more mountain to climb,” said Sullivan, who was hired on Saturday.

“I’ll always cherish the memories here with the Giants and so many wonderful people, not just coaches and players but front office people in the organization. That’s the difficult part, the relationships my wife and I have made with people in the community. We’ll always, always hold on to that and cherish that and be grateful for it. I’m just excited about taking this next step and this new opportunity. I feel very, very blessed.”

Sullivan was instrumental in turning Eli Manning from a 25-interception quarterback into a Super Bowl MVP in just two seasons.

“I’m extremely excited for Coach Sullivan, but I’m sad to see him go,” Manning said. “We had a great relationship. He is a tremendous coach who pays attention to every little detail. He always had us well-prepared.”

“Working with Eli, it was wonderful to see the hard work, the commitment, and the focus on all the little details,” Sullivan said. “He’s such a true professional. I think there was a definite determination and attitude he brought to the table this year to focus on being the best he could possibly be, whether it was small mechanical things, or footwork, or different things in practice. Or taking it a step further into greater detail in terms of game plan preparation, the dialogue, the communication, cracking the code for various opponents was a great deal of fun.

“To be able to see firsthand and work with him toward accomplishing a goal, I think, was really very rewarding for me and something that will be a great model to use in the future as far as, ‘Hey, what’s the best way to prepare and be the best you can be?’”

Sullivan joined the Giants in 2004 -- the same year as Coughlin -- after working in Jacksonville. He was probably best known for making his quarterbacks do around 15 pushups after each practice this past season.

• The Giants announced that they signed defensive end Craig Marshall, tight end Ryan Purvis and offensive lineman Chris White to reserve/futures contracts.