E-ticket: Who is this guy?
Originally Published: January 31, 2008By By Wright Thompson | ESPN.com
PHOENIX -- You don't notice Ernie Adams at first, but he's always there in his own peculiar way. Walking the halls in the Patriots complex, lost in his own thoughts, he will often ignore co-workers. In meetings, he has been known to fall asleep. After practice, he is almost always the first person Bill Belichick consults. On game day, he's in the press box with a headset, running numbers, computing percentages and, some around the league insinuate, overseeing more insidious operations. When Belichick is taking those lonely walks up and down the sideline, his head bowed, as if in prayer, you can bet it's Ernie Adams yapping away in his ear. Some call him the smartest man they've ever met. A longtime NFL watcher compares him to "Q," James Bond's master of espionage and gadgetry. Author David Halberstam called him "Belichick's Belichick." No other team has anyone like him on its payroll. And yet, save for football insiders, he is virtually unknown. In an era of media over-saturation, there is exactly one more picture of Bigfoot on the Associated Press photo wire (two) than there is of Adams (one). And it's of the back of his head.