Because the Patriots are in the Super Bowl, and because Bill Belichick—admirably or otherwise—doesn't tell anyone about anything, the press corps has reasoned that it is high time to explore the mysterious dudes who work for him. One is Ernie Adams (left), the other is Berj Najarian (right).
INDIANAPOLIS—Deep inside the New England Patriots' offices, in the room beside coach Bill Belichick's, there sits a man who nobody seems to know exactly what he does.
New York Times:
INDIANAPOLIS—The man inside the coffee shop is Bill Belichick's chief of staff, one of his most trusted confidants.
Any profile of Adams contains words like "secret" and "mysterious," which only add to the intrigue of a Belichick regime that doesn't seem to do anything like any other team. And yet even in the cryptic climate of the Gillette Stadium offices, Adams casts a strange shadow over the organization.
In a system in which injuries are guarded as state secrets and coaches conduct their business like C.I.A. operatives, the Patriots allow little understanding of what, exactly, they have done to reach such sustained success. Najarian's role exemplifies that paranoid mystique. He is the gatekeeper to Belichick, the monitor of the monotone.
"Essentially, he is one of the people who meet with Belichick at Belichick's level," explains Jay Robertson, who was an assistant coach at Northwestern in the early 1970s and has remained friends with Adams since.
From there, Najarian worked in public relations with the Jets. Frank Ramos, the longtime and former public-relations director there, said Najarian "came to get along very well with the defensive coaches." He added: "He got really close with Belichick. There aren't that many who can get that close to Bill. I don't know why he did."
"No clue what he does," safety Patrick Chung says. "No clue at all. Maybe he's an undercover genius."
On the ESPN set, Tedy Bruschi, the retired Patriots linebacker turned analyst, raised both eyebrows when asked about Najarian. No longer affiliated with the team, he still declined to comment.
"How many people talk about the consigliere?" he said.
The Patriots are so hatable they're lovable.