Bill Belichick clearly wanted to show his support for friend and fired Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly on Thursday.
A reporter asked the New England Patriots head coach, without mentioning Kelly’s name, if he pays attention to the coaching carousel that goes around in the NFL. Belichick then specifically addressed the firing.
“I’d say it’s really disappointing,” Belichick said. “Chip Kelly, to me, is a really good football coach. He does a great job, he’s done a good job with that team. It’s disappointing to see, or with Josh (McDaniels) in Denver, or there’s a lot of examples. Pretty much everyone is on a one-year contract in this league.
“I don’t know how you build a program in one year. Chip’s a great coach, he’ll end up somewhere. He’ll do a great job there. I’d say a lot of the players that were on the Eagles that are no longer on the Eagles aren’t really doing too much for anybody else either.”
Belichick is right. With the exception of a few players, such as Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy, a lot of former Eagles aren’t producing at their new destinations. Belichick knows firsthand, since he signed cornerback Bradley Fletcher this offseason and cut him in October.
Guard Todd Herremans, tight end James Casey and cornerback Cary Williams also were cut by their new teams. Safety Nate Allen, guard Evan Mathis and defensive end Trent Cole aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire away from the Eagles either.
Needless to say, Belichick is happy to have job security with the Patriots.
“It’s the best situation in the league,” Belichick said. “It’s disappointing to look at coaches like Coach (Greg) Schiano, Coach (Mike) Shanahan or Coach Kelly, guys like that. I’m not there. I’m not part of those programs. I just know those guys are good coaches. They do a good job, have a lot of respect for them.”
The Patriots won a Super Bowl in Belichick’s second year, but he said it took until 2003, his third season, to truly implement his program.
“Because of everything, you have to change the culture,” Belichick said. “Normally one coach is different from the previous coach. You don’t see a lot of — whoever the first coach is, the second coach is a carbon copy of the first coach, third coach is a carbon copy of the second coach — you rarely see that. The coach that comes in usually has a different philosophy as the coach that left.”
That certainly was the case when Belichick took over for Pete Carroll with the Patriots, and it’s unsurprising to hear Belichick say it took a while for “The Patriot Way” to be fully installed.
Thumbnail photo via John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Aug 6, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during a joint NFL training camp at the NovaCare complex. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports