What’s David Andrews’ favorite Ernie Adams memory? Probably the same as yours.
Asked Tuesday about the New England Patriots’ legendary director of football research, who announced his retirement Monday, Andrews immediately mentioned Adams’ iconic appearance in the 2015 documentary “Do Your Job.”
The film, which offered fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into key moments from the Patriots’ 2014 Super Bowl run, was a star turn for Adams, turning a previously little-known figure within the organization into a cult hero among New England fans.
“Ernie’s kind of like a mysterious, mythical creature in the building when you come in as a rookie,” Andrews said. “My rookie year was just after they did the big documentary on the 2014 season, and that was the first thing I ever remember about Ernie Adams — that documentary and him in his office talking about the Malcolm Butler play. It was just like, ‘What does this guy really do?’ And he kind of became an Internet sensation and the Pink Stripe thing or whatever.”
Andrews also recalled a personal interaction with Adams that illustrated the latter’s football knowledge and attention to detail.
“I remember I fumbled a snap in spring or training camp, something early,” the veteran Patriots center and co-captain explained. “We were running a guard pull play. Bill (Belichick) obviously didn’t like that very much, and I ended up running a lap. But then Ernie after practice at some point talked to me and just talked about how that’s one of the harder snaps because the quarterback’s pulling away at the opposite direction for the handoff, you’re going flat down the line to try to cut somebody off in a penetrating position. So he just talked to me about that, and ever since then, I kind of was like, ‘Wow. All right.’
“I always made an effort to talk to Ernie when he was in the building, when I passed him in the building, about rules. Whatever it may be, he’s like an encyclopedia. Ernie will definitely be missed around the building, that’s for sure.”
Adams’ nebulous role with the Patriots included a wide range of responsibilities, from scouting to in-game management to — as Andrews’ anecdote shows — individual player instruction. Belichick saluted his longtime right-hand man Saturday after Adams completed the final NFL draft of his career.
“I think Ernie’s contributions are historic,” the Patriots head coach said. “They traverse several decades and so many different areas, into 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 has done an outstanding job in all of them.”
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