When Julien was done answering a question about his job security during the team's annual media day, Neely quickly jumped in and added his thoughts on the matter, which has been a topic of discussion since the Bruins missed the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons in the spring.
Neely mentioned that he's been reading and hearing stories that Julien's on the hot seat if the team doesn't bounce back from a disappointing 2014-2015 season.
"It's unfair to say that," Neely said. "Claude's a very good coach in this league. [New Bruins GM] Don [Sweeney] came to us with a plan of how he would like to see the team play, and he's had many conversations with Claude about that, but a lot of things happen throughout the course of the year that's not necessarily just on the coach. It's unfair. I know why certain things are said at times, but it's really unfair to start the season where it's out there that the coach could be on the hot seat. It's unfair to Claude."
Neely said he understands why there's a perception that some might think Julien is under fire because of everything that has been said since the end of last season.
"If it's written enough, people start to believe it," Neely said.
Part of the criticism against Julien was over whether he could adjust to the changes Neely and Sweeney envisioned for the Bruins moving forward. Neely said he believes Julien has the ability to adapt and tweak his techniques as a coach.
"Absolutely," Neely said. "We don't want to get away from the strengths of our team and Claude's strengths. It's about how can we improve and what do we need to do to get better, not just as an organization but right down to the individual player, to individual coaches."
Neely explained that sometimes coaches and players can have blinders on when it comes to success. Once they are successful, they want to keep doing the same things. When Sweeney was officially promoted to the GM role, he took his time to decide whether Julien was the right person for the job, and after many conversations, the chemistry remained.
Neely believes so too.
"I do. It's important for everybody to feel comfortable with one another, talking about the team, talking about the players, talking about what the expectations are," he said. "There's nothing better than being around a group that you can have those conversations with and not worry about what the subject matter is. We're all pulling in the same direction, so why not talk about it?"
Julien has said many times since the spring that he's not concerned or burdened by his job security. He understands it's a business and his job is to get the most from the players he's given.
"I'm good where I am right now," he said. "I'm not even thinking about that. The only time I have to is when [media] asks me. Other than that I just go ahead and I do my job, and I enjoy doing my job.
"I'm happy to be here. This is a place I've felt really comfortable with the people around me, the organization, the city and the fan base. I love working for this organization. I just keep coming in every day, trying to do my best and try to last as long as I can."