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Bill Belichick disappointed by Josh McDaniels' firing

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  December 7, 2010 12:18 PM

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Bill Belichick was asked today during his teleconference about the firing of Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels Monday night.

Understandably, the Patriots' coach was not pleased with the news.

"Yeah, of course, I was disappointed to see that for Josh, unfortunately, I know what that feels like," said Belichick, who served for five seasons as head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1991-1995 before he was fired after going 5-11 in his last season.

McDaniels, 34, served for eight seasons under Belichick in New England, where McDaniels began as a personal assistant (2001) and rose through the ranks to become a defensive coaching assistant (2002-03), quarterbacks coach (2004-2008) and offensive coordinator (2006-08).

At the time he was hired as the Broncos head coach in 2009, McDaniels became the youngest in the NFL. After a 6-0 start in his first season, things went downhill for McDaniels, who watched his team lose 17 of its next 22 games. This season he made a series of personnel blunders, notably trading away Peyton Hillis, who has become a power running back in Cleveland, and he also was fined $50,000 by the NFL for failing to report a subordinate who violated league rules by videotaping a San Francisco 49ers practice in London on Oct. 30.

"I'm disappointed for him and his family, but at the same time it's the third one of those we've seen this year," Belichick said, referring to the mid-season dismissals of Wade Phillips in Dallas and Brad Childress in Minnesota. "It's certainly not uncommon. It's kind of the way it is in the NFL these days. Things can turn around in a hurry. Minnesota, one year they're playing in the NFC Championship and halfway through the next year they've got a new coach.

"You see a lot of that in the National Football League these days and I'm not sure I fully support all that, but those aren't my decisions."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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