Belichick defends Kelly, says a lot of ex-Eagles not 'doing too much'

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick put his public support behind former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, as well as the overall coaching profession, early Thursday morning. The Eagles fired Kelly on Tuesday after three seasons.

"I'd say it's really disappointing. I mean, Chip Kelly, to me, is a really good football coach. He does a great job and he's done a great job with that team," Belichick said in an expansive news conference. "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 is a great coach. He'll end up somewhere and will do a great job there."

Also, as it relates to Kelly's personnel acumen, which had come under scrutiny, Belichick added, "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."

The connection between Belichick and Kelly has been well documented, including their teams holding joint practices in the preseason.

Belichick's remarks came when he was asked how much he follows coaching movement at this time of year. He said it leads him to appreciate what he has in New England, as he called it "the best situation in the league."

"But it is disappointing to look at coaches like Coach [Greg] Schiano, or Coach [Mike] Shanahan, or Coach Kelly, or guys like that," Belichick added. "Look, I'm not there. I'm not really a part of those programs. I just know those guys are good coaches. They do a good job and I have a lot of respect for them."

Belichick then said it wasn't until 2003, the fourth year of his Patriots tenure, that he fully installed his program.

"Because of everything -- you have to change the culture. 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 kind of a carbon copy of the second coach, the third coach is kind of a carbon copy of the second coach. You rarely see that," he said.

"So the coach that comes in usually has a different philosophy than the coach that left, so you have to try to implement that philosophy, and that means you're going to turn over a high percentage of the roster because the players the other coach had don't fit the new philosophy. So a lot of the players are going to have to change, in part of the philosophy and in part because of the scheme; those kind of role-type players, now that role is not needed in the new scheme. A different role is needed, so you have different players. Then just getting your team acclimated to doing things the way of the philosophy of the new program. You're going to have to go through a lot of tough situations -- tough games, tough losses, tough stretches in the season, whatever it happens to be. To build that up over time, it doesn't happen in training camp. ...

"It takes some time to go through that. I don't think there is any shortcut to it. I know there is a lot of other people in the league that think there is, there's instant; in two weeks everything is going to change. I don't buy into that."

Belichick has been the Patriots' head coach for the past 16 seasons and has spent the past 41 years as a coach in the NFL.