BELICHICK VOICES STRONG SUP­PORT FOR FIRED KELLY

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

PHILADEL­PHIA » Con­sider Bill Belichick one of Chip Kelly’s strong­est supporters.

The Pa­tri­ots’ four- time Su­per Bowl cham­pion coach called Kelly’s fir­ing by the Ea­gles “really dis­ap­point­ing” and praised his coach­ing skills.

Kelly was dis­missed Tues­day with one game re­main­ing in an un­der­whelm­ing sea­son. The Ea­gles are 6- 9 af­ter go­ing 10- 6 in each of Kelly’s first two sea­sons and win­ning one di­vi­sion ti­tle.

Kelly and the Ea­gles pulled off a stun­ning up­set over Belichick’s Pa­tri­ots last month. They ral­lied from a 14- 0 deficit for a 35- 28 vic­tory at New Eng­land.

“Chip is a great coach,” Belichick said Thurs­day. “He’ll end up some­where and he’ll do a great job there.”

Belichick didn’t think the Ea­gles gave Kelly enough time.

“I don’t know how you build a pro­gram in one year,” he said. “You have to change the cul­ture. ... It takes some time to go through that. I don’t think there is any short­cut to it. I know there are a lot of other peo­ple in the league that think there is, that af­ter two weeks all of a sud­den ev­ery­thing is go­ing to change dra­mat­i­cally, but I’m not really part of that. I don’t buy into that.”

Bills plan­ning to cut DE Wil­liams. It’s go­ing to be game over for Su­per Mario in Buf­falo af­ter the Bills play their sea­son fi­nale Sun­day.

High- priced de­fen­sive end Mario Wil­liams will be cut by the Bills dur­ing the off­sea­son, a per­son with knowl­edge of dis­cus­sions told The As­so­ci­ated Press. The per­son spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the team does not pub­licly dis­cuss its player per­son­nel plans.

No timetable was pro­vided as to when Wil­liams will be cut, but the per­son said the team’s top pass­rush­ing threat’s fi­nal game will be Buf­falo’s home game against the New York Jets ( 10- 5). The Bills ( 7- 8) have been elim­i­nated from the play­offs. Foot­notes. Browns quar­ter­back Johnny Manziel was of­fi­cially ruled out of the sea­son fi­nale against Pitts­burgh be­cause of a con­cus­sion. … Jets quar­ter­back Ryan Fitz­patrick fully par­tic­i­pated in prac­tice af­ter be­ing lim­ited Wed­nes­day be­cause of a sore thumb, el­bow and lower back. Nei­ther Fitz­patrick nor coach Todd Bowles was con­cerned about the quar­ter­back’s avail­abil­ity for the Jets’ game at Buf­falo, but it eased any doubts to see him take part in all drills.

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