By: Drew Feinberg
Another chapter has ended in the New England Patriots dynasty, as Ernie Adams, longtime Football Research Director and friend of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, has announced his retirement.
Adams’ retirement was announced by Belichick following the 2021 NFL Draft. During the seventh and final round of his final draft, Adams hand-selected New England’s final pick, wide receiver Tre Nixon out of Central Florida with the 242nd overall pick.
Before the legend of Adams and his career in New England reached the limelight, his football story began when he met Belichick as a highschooler attending Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
While at school, Adams had read Football Scouting Methods written by Steve Belichick (Bill’s father) who was then a football scout for the United States Naval Academy. In 1970, Bill enrolled at the Academy for a post-graduate year, and from there, Adams and Belichick became good friends and would later form what would become the premiere NFL powerhouse for nearly two decades.
During the 2014 Patriots documentary Do Your Job, Adams’ was finally introduced to the spotlight. As a Patriots fan of 14 years at the time, I had no idea who Adams was until watching this documentary. My whole life I thought Belichick was the only person who pulled the strings in New England. However, thanks to that documentary, the world was introduced to Adams and his genius football mind.
Wherever Belichick has gone in the NFL, Adams soon followed. Aside from New England, the two worked together on staff at the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns, before Adams took a five year hiatus to be an investment banker prior to returning to New England.
Adams revolutionized modern scouting and is known for the long list of the incredible players he had his hand in selecting, and team executives who have learned from him. However, the one factor that I think will truly be missed with Adams’ retirement is his partnership with Belichick.
The structure that Belichick and Adams built is one that will be nearly impossible to duplicate, and many have tried. Together, the two have more knowledge of the game of football than any other person in the league. Together, they knew more about their opponents than their opponents knew about themselves; and together, they’ve won six Super Bowls together. From first meeting as high school students to six time Super Bowl champions.
What a ride Ernie Adams had. Enjoy retirement, you legend.