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Ernie Adams officially bids farewell to the Patriots

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The conclusion of the 2021 offseason program also has concluded Ernie Adams’ 21-year tenure with the Patriots. Coach Bill Belichick told reporters on Wednesday that it would be Adams’ last practice with the team. After praising Adams, Belichick gave him a chance to answer some questions.

“Ernie’s had such a big impact on our success here with the Patriots in so many different ways, from his organization with Scott [Pioli] in the personnel 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,” Belichick said. “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 and a lot of people that are doing things that he does for different organizations. But some of the things that he really, I would say started and uncovered and showed the value of them here, but his versatility and ability to do so many different things and his passion for football is really second to none.”

Adams was asked to summarize his job with an organization that prides itself on everyone doing his or her job, whatever it may be.

“Basically, my job is to figure out as many things as I can to help the New England Patriots win football games,” Adams said. “In the end, that’s what we’re all about here. That’s what we do. So, whether it’s strategy, personnel or anything else. The thing that’s been great about my job is I’ve never really had any constraints put on me. I could go in any area I thought would help us and hopefully I’ve made some positive contribution.”

Adams, regarded by outsiders as a man of mystery, disagreed with that characterization. He explained that it made sense for him to be out of view in order to ensure consistency in messaging.

“I’ve always felt that the best thing you can have on a football team is to have fewer voices speaking because if you get multiple voices speaking, there’ll be inevitably some inconsistencies develop and then there’ll be a ‘what he said, what he said,’” Adams said. “We’ve just tried to eliminate all the distractions.”

And they have. Now, they’ll have to replace Adams. Belichick may the only one who knows exactly what that will entail. The next challenge will be finding someone who can do all of those things that Adams did.

If Belichick needs any help in getting the next Ernie Adams up to speed, Belichick won’t need to look far.

“Bill has all my contact information,” Adams said.