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Patriots' Mystery Man Ernie Adams Won't Reveal Pink Stripes Meaning: 'Sometimes It's Best To Leave Things To People's Imaginations'

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- When it comes to the Patriots dynasty, few folk heroes can match the intrigue and mystique of Ernie Adams.

Listed as the team's "Football Research Director," it seems like nobody outside of Bill Belichick fully comprehends what it is that Adams does for the team. And with Adams presenting himself as a highly intelligent, highly successful former Wall Street trader, fans -- and even players -- find themselves awfully curious about what kind of work Adams is always doing behind the scenes.

Fortunately, the Patriots' production crew produced a new video spotlighting Adams and the work he does to help the Patriots each and every week -- a role that's changed over time.

"Since I've been here, it's encompassed the full range -- coaching, the draft, starting off with how to handle the salary cap when the cap came in. I mean I've had a chance to put my fingers in a lot of pies. Hopefully I haven't messed them up," Adams said.

Adams' relationship with Belichick dates back to high school, when Adams surprised Belichick by informing him that he had read Steve Belichick's book on football scouting. That relationship led to Adams working for Belichick in Cleveland and then being one of Belichick's first hires in New England in 2000. All of the mic'd up footage through the years from NFL Films has shown that Adams has a direct line to Belichick during games, with the coach often calling upon Adams for guidance in certain situations.

"I got a great job," Adams said in the video. "Basically, the way Bill put it to me when I started was figure out what you can do to help us win, and do it."

Bill Belichick, Ernie Adams
Bill Belichick talks with Ernie Adams prior to Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

While Adams' official duties may change day to day and week to week, he's been a part of the fabric of the organization during the most successful stretch in NFL history. He helped to explain how that's been possible,.

"One of the big reasons we've had success here is we don't have a lot of people [saying], 'Oh gee, I deserve a lot of the credit for this, I did that, I'm wonderful.' You know, we just don't function like that," Adams explained. "Just come in, do your job, try to get better every day, make the team better, and believe me, when you win in this league, there's plenty of recognition to go around."

Ernie Adams
New England Patriots administrator Ernie Adams at training camp. (WBZ-TV_

While Adams was open and forthcoming in this particular interview ... he still wasn't willing to spill the beans on the meaning of "Pink Stripes" -- the two words that appeared behind him on a whiteboard during the 2015 NFL Films special, "Do Your Job." Adams still isn't willing to reveal what those two words meant.

"You know what? Sometimes I think it's best to leave things to people's imaginations," he said. "So, I'll let it go at that."

It wouldn't be Ernie Adams if there wasn't at least a bit of mystery involved.

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