New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick took some time Sunday night to congratulate Peyton Manning, who will announce his retirement from the NFL on Monday.
“It is with great admiration that I congratulate Peyton Manning for his tremendous career in the National Football League,” the Patriots coach told ESPN.com. “Peyton raised the bar as a performer and as a competitor and with a personal class in which he carried himself off the field. My relationship with Peyton is special, it is unique and it is one that I value greatly.
“For 18 years, we battled fiercely but regardless of each game’s outcome, I always walked off the field with the utmost appreciation for the highest level of competition in which those games were prepared for and played. Peyton’s immense contributions to the game reflect how genuinely passionate he is about it. I can honestly say that I never ‘enjoyed’ our meetings, but the respect I have for Peyton Manning as a competitor was, and will likely remain, second to none.”
Manning ended up just 6-13 all-time against the Patriots, but three of those wins came in the AFC title game.