By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- Bill Belichick spoke glowingly of his longtime right-hand man, Ernie Adams, on Saturday night when speaking with the media after the draft concluded. We now know that Belichick's public praise came not long after the coach spoke even more highly about Adams behind closed doors.
On Monday morning, the Patriots released a video taken from inside the Patriots' draft room. In it, Belichick stood up before the room and spoke at length about the important drafts that Adams has been a part of since the 1970s. He then gave the seventh-round pick to Adams, and he selected wide receiver Tre Nixon out of Central Florida.
"I just want to take a moment to recognize Ernie. We'll do this at a more formal time later, but Ernie's career, and especially in the draft room, it's legendary," Belichick said. "Ernie literally wrote the book on scouting, the grading scale, lettering, the numbering, the different classifications of players, the report writing, critical factors, I mean all of that. He's been a part of all that for really four decades."
"Ernie I just want to thank you as your final draft and the final round, as we go to the final pick. It's yours. It's yours," Belichick said. "And thank you for all your contributions, not only here but to the game and to the process of scouting."
Adams then made the phone call to Nixon, welcoming him to New England.
Nixon saw the video on Monday and said, "Wow!! What an honor. Can't wait to get up there and get to work. God is great."
The video revealed that this isn't the first time that Adams picked a receiver in the seventh round for the Patriots. Belichick alluded to Adams being solely responsible for the selection of David Givens in 2002.
"The famous David Givens selection, which was totally ... Ernie was given a stack of books, and he pulled David Givens out," Belichick said. "And that was a pretty good pick."
The Patriots selected Givens with the 253rd overall pick that year, and he'd end up catching 258 passes for 2,214 yards with 12 touchdowns in his regular-season career with the Patriots, in addition to contributing to two Super Bowl victories with 35 postseason receptions for 324 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games. He caught a touchdown in both Super Bowl XXXVIII vs. Carolina and Super Bowl XXXIX vs. Philadelphia.
While Adams' contributions have been innumerable during his time with the Patriots, Adams capping off his draft contributions by selecting another seventh-round receiver is fitting.
Belichick didn't specify whether Adams -- whose official title is Football Research Director -- is retiring, or if he's merely cutting the draft out of his list of responsibilities. For now, Belichick just wanted to make sure that Adams got his proper due.
"He's literally been involved in every single aspect of the football program at every level that you could possibly be involved in, and he's done an outstanding job in all of them," Belichick said of Adams.
for more features.