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Ernie Adams' Mystery Grows After NFL Draft Video Conference Appearance

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- Anyone who followed the NFL Draft even a little bit knows that Bill Belichick's dog was the breakout star of the show. But folks who followed the draft very closely know that it was the ever-mysterious Ernie Adams who was the real star of the weekend.

With all participants in the draft process in their own homes to abide by social distancing guidelines, video chats were the main mean of communication. The Patriots were kind enough to share with the world what those chats looked like for the principals involved.

Looking at the backdrops, there's not a whole lot to see. Director of player personnel Nick Caserio is in front of a green wall. Director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort appears to have some nice French doors. College scouting coordinator Brian Smith might have taken Caserio's leftover paint. Director of pro personnel Dave Ziegler looked like many Americans working from home, set up on a kitchen table, with kids art projects adorning the fridge behind him. The Kraft household, naturally, is quite nice. And we knew about Belichick's setup.

And then ... then there is Ernie Adams.

Devoted Patriots followers know that Adams is the Patriots' version of the most interesting man in the world. He carries the title of "football research director," a vague title if there ever was one. He's held that position since April 25, 2000. A friend of Belichick dating back to their high school days at Phillips Academy in Andover, Belichick relies on him for various reasons, the details of which we are rarely ever made aware of.

The intrigue surrounding Adams is such that when he appeared in the "Do Your Job" special with the words "Pink Stripes" written on a white board behind him, those two words managed to become an entire movement unto themselves. Nobody knows what those words mean, if they even mean anything at all. Yet they've become a sort of a folk tale, somehow, even if it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. That's just how mysterious Ernie Adams is.

Which brings us to the draft. As you can see, Adams is sitting in front of a wall that has three picture frames hanging. And what pictures are in those frames? Why ... nothing at all.

The frames are empty.

What the heck?

The empty frames inspire roughly a million questions. Are they just for decoration? Has he not gotten around to finding frame-worthy photos? Did he have pictures in there but remove them, knowing he'd be on camera? If so, why not just take them down instead of going through the trouble of opening them up, sliding out the pictures, storing the pictures somewhere else, then re-hanging the frames?

Does it have deeper meaning? Is there some high-level philosophy that us normals could never possibly understand? Is this what real genius looks like?

So many questions. So few answers.

The legend of Ernie Adams continues to grow.

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