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Bill Belichick: Chip Kelly's firing 'really disappointing'

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Giants coach Tom Coughlin conceded Wednesday that this week's firing of Chip Kelly came close to surprising him in a business where firings are rarely truly shocking.

Every game, all season

Patriots coach Bill Belichick went a step further on Thursday, labeling Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie's decision to cut ties with Kelly as "really disappointing."

"I mean Chip Kelly to me is a really good football coach," Belichick said. "I think he does a great job. I think he's done a good job with that team. It's disappointing to see. Or Josh [McDaniels] in Denver -- there are a lot of examples, but pretty much everybody 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 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."

It's an interesting reaction from the most successful NFL coach of the 21st century. Belichick clearly respects Kelly's football acumen.

Let's unpack those comments:

Kelly was in Philadelphia for three years. Belichick referenced just one year to build a program because Kelly won 10 games with players acquired by Howie Roseman and Andy Reid in each of his first two seasons. Kelly wasn't given control to fully institute his own program until last January.

The early returns on Kelly's personnel moves were grievous -- and led, ultimately, to his dismissal after just 15 games this season.

How about the high-profile players jettisoned by Kelly?

Waylaid by injuries for portions of the season, DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy haven't played up to their contracts in 2015. Evan Mathis is part of a subpar offensive line in Denver. Trent Cole managed just three sacks for a disappointing Colts squad. Nick Foles was benched for Case Keenum. Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher and Todd Herremans have already been cut by the teams that signed them in March.

Outside of Jeremy Maclin's success on Reid's playoff-bound Chiefs, Kelly hasn't been burned by the players he discarded.

It's the players he overpaid to acquire that did him in.

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