The Patriots have a shadowy 'Black Ops' rules research expert called Ernie Adams on staff | Bob's Blitz

The Patriots have a shadowy 'Black Ops' rules research expert called Ernie Adams on staff

The Patriots have a shadowy 'Black Ops' rules research expert named Ernie Adams on staff. The Post's Brian Costello reports, "Adams has been with Patriots coach Bill Belichick since he took the Patriots job in 2000 after previously working with him with the Giants and Browns. The two went to prep school together, and those around the Patriots describe a never-ending dialogue between the two. He is believed to be the primary voice in Belichick’s headset on game day and is a constant presence at Patriots practice."

“Nothing,” offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo says when asked what he could say about Adams’ role. “He does a lot, but I can’t tell you anything.” “He is the black ops of pro football analysis,” DeGuglielmo adds. “He is undercover and out of sight.” “His insight is vast,” DeGuglielmo said. “He goes back years and years in his research. Exactly what he does, I’m not at liberty to say.”

“I don’t know everything he does,” offensive lineman Dan Connolly said. “I know that whenever I’ve had a question come up about rules, I’ll go to him. He always seems to know the answer.”


When Belichick shows a new strategy like playing with eligible and ineligible receivers to confuse the defense during the playoffs, many believe Adams is behind it. He also gets the finger pointed at him when the Patriots stray from the rules. All those taped signals from the “Spygate” controversy? Belichick admitted they were going to Adams for analysis.

But no one is quite sure exactly what Adams really does, it seems, outside of Adams and Belichick. In Cleveland, Browns owner Art Modell once said, “I’ll pay anyone here $10,000 if they can tell me what Ernie Adams does.”

In [David] Halberstam’s book [“The Education of a Coach"] he describes a team meeting where a photo of Adams was shown on the big screen and underneath was written, “What does this man do?”

Adams told the Northwestern alumni magazine he lists his profession as “research” on his tax return.

Adams for Northwestern's alumni magazine
The Post continues:

Here’s how important the 61-year-old former Wall Street trader is to the Patriots: In the team’s Arizona hotel, two members of the Patriots’ staff have offices with doors on them. One is Belichick. The other is Adams.

“I really don’t know what he does,” wide receiver Danny Amendola said. “I’ve gotten to talk to him just a little bit. I feel like deep down he might be the mad scientist behind all of this. I’d like to know.”

In the media guide, Adams’ job description is: “researching special assignments for both the coaching staff and the personnel department.”

People who have worked with Adams describe him as a master of the NFL rulebook and a football historian. And Brian's piece for the Post Meet the ‘black ops’ man behind the Patriots’ success is a must read.

Follow us on Twitter for exclusive stories, Subscribe by Email, or Return home for Top sports news.