Art Modell finally has his answer.
The late former Browns owner once said, “I’ll pay anyone here $10,000 if they can tell me what Ernie Adams does” when Adams was working under Bill Belichick in Cleveland.
Adams, who’s retiring as New England Patriots football research director, gave a succinct version of his job description Wednesday, the day of his last practice with the team.
“My job is to figure out as many things as I can to help the New England Patriots win football games,” Adams said in his first-ever formal meeting with the New England media.
Adams, however, still would not disclose why “pink stripes” was written over his right shoulder on a whiteboard behind him in the Patriots’ “Do Your Job” documentaries.
“Well, you know, I go back to my Wall Street days and everything we did we said was ‘proprietary trading information,'” Adams said. “So, I’ll leave it that’s strictly an inside joke and proprietary football information.”
It’s been an offseason of finality for Adams, who also made wide receiver Tre Nixon his last draft pick with the Patriots.
Belichick, who has known Adams for over 50 years since they were teammates at Phillips Academy Andover and worked with him on the New York Giants, Browns and Patriots, introduced his old friend Wednesday.
“Before we sign off here, I just wanted to take a couple minutes if I could and just again formally recognize Ernie and the contributions that he’s made to this organization and, frankly, to myself and the league,” Belichick said. “Ernie’s had such a big impact on our success here for the Patriots in so many different ways, from his organization with Scott (Pioli) in the scouting department and the grading scale and so forth to strategic coaching, situationally, game-planning in all three phases of the game — offense, defense, special teams. Team-building, personnel acquisition and so forth. I’ve leaned heavily on Ernie for 21 years here and going back to Cleveland and New York and our relationship which started at Andover over 50 years ago.
“Ernie’s been a great friend. He’s certainly been a great asset to this organization and to me personally, and I think that a lot of the things that he’s done have also been recognized by other coaches and other staffs in the league. There are a lot of people who are doing things that he does for different organizations, but some of the things that he really started and uncovered and showed the value of here. But his versatility and ability to do so many different things and his passion for football is really second to none. This will be his final practice today. We’ll miss him but always welcome him back. Hopefully, he’ll come back and visit us. I’m sure he will. But I just have a personal appreciation for Ernie and all that he’s done, and on behalf of the organization, I want to thank him, as well. Ernie’s one to stay behind the scenes, but we’re going to put him out in front for you this morning.”
When asked if he’d be willing to return for special projects, Adams said, “Bill has all of my contact information.”