Patriots director of football research Ernie Adams retires

Patriots director of football research Ernie Adams announced his retirement Monday night.

In a statement shared with the Herald, Adams wrote: “The last 21 seasons with the New England Patriots have been extraordinary for me. I am fortunate to have been part of a team along with Bill Belichick, outstanding colleagues, patient owners, and a lot of great players. It is time for me to stop working and join the many wonderful fans who have been with us for this run.”

Adams was a quiet pillar of the Patriots’ dynasty. He was the man behind the coach, a close friend of Belichick since the two met as students at Phillips Andover Academy in 1970. Adams’ work in New England covered statistical analysis, scouting reports and advising Belichick on challenges and clock management on game days, among other things.

He had a direct line to Belichick’s headset for 21 years. Belichick also consulted him almost daily on the practice field.

On Saturday night, Belichick thanked Adams for contributing to his final draft with the team. Belichick allowed his longtime confidant to make the Pats’ final selection, Central Florida wide receiver, in the seventh round.

“I think Ernie’s contributions are, you know, historic and, they traverse several decades and so many different areas, I mean, in every corner of the room and then some. He’s literally been involved in every single aspect of the football program at every level that you could possibly be involved in, and he’s done an outstanding job in all of them,” Belichick said.

“Not all coaches have the kind of involvement that Ernie’s had in the draft process throughout his career, and his knowledge, experience and decisions and organization and being part of the process, and the way he set it up and taught it to really all the people that have come through here — from Scott (Pioli) and Nick (Caserio), to all the scouts and so forth — really, he’s had a big, big hand in it.”

Adams first joined the organization in 1975 as an administrative assistant. He helped developed the foundation of the team’s scouting system, which is used across the league today. In 1979, he left to work as an assistant coach with the Giants and immediately recommended that Belichick, then the special teams coordinator in Denver, join their staff.

Belichick was hired days later, and his Hall of Fame career took off. Adams left football to work on Wall Street for six years as a municipal bond trader in the late 1980s. Eventually, he returned to reunite with Belichick, who hired him during his first stint as a head coach in 1991 with Cleveland.

Adams was famously private during his time in New England, but nonetheless left an unmistakable legacy that impacted every facet of the greatest dynasty the league has ever seen.

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