It was a day of appreciation for Bill Belichick, and coaches competing in the postseason this week also showered praise on the former New England Patriots head coach.

Robert Kraft and Belichick announced in a news conference Thursday they mutually agreed to part ways. Both sides said they felt the time was right to move on, but it was an abrupt change for those in the building at Gillette Stadium.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid praised Belichick leading up to his team’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins. And his counterpart offered a more poignant response to not only Belichick leaving New England but also to Nick Saban’s expected retirement and the Seattle Seahawks parting ways with Pete Carroll.

“It’s really mixed emotions,” McDaniel told reporters, per MassLive’s Chris Mason. “I’m more just kind of taken aback by that in conjunction with coach Saban and Pete Carroll. They have as much responsibility to what the game is right now as anybody that’s around. I have so much respect and regard for being able to do what they’ve done for that amount of time. I have a very close firsthand experience on the sacrifice it takes to do this job. That it is a sacrifice. Such a blessing, such an opportunity, but you really have to pour yourself into it. When you do that for a quarter century, I can’t say enough positive words about coach Belichick, and I lump coach Carroll and Nick Saban in there because it feels the same way.

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“It’s a reminder to me that — I’m just going to be candid — that Father Time is a (expletive). You know? Really not a nice guy. But it’s real. I think it reminds you that everything is finite. I think a lot of people have gained a lot of perspective, motivation, the leadership of coach Belichick has been really, really cool to watch. He’s been at the chair for 24 years in one organization and it wasn’t because of entertaining press conferences. It was because of his due diligence at what his job was. So I have a lot of regard, and as you can tell, I’m kind of mourning the loss of those three for sure.”

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Football fans likely had similar feelings McDaniel had. The Dolphins head coach always expressed respect for Belichick. And it could get weirder for Patriots fans after Kraft essentially confirmed Belichick will coach a different team next season. McDaniel can at least enjoy the prospect of not having to face a Belichick-led team twice a season.

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