PDA

View Full Version : *'s Still Cheating?



BradshawsHairdresser
01-24-2012, 12:22 AM
Are the Pasterisks still pulling shady pranks to try to help their team win?

Apparently, a scoreboard discrepancy may have led to the Ravens' kicker rushing his kick on that final FG attempt. As you know, he missed it. Not saying that the scoreboard problem CAUSED the miss, but do you think it was intentional, to try to give New England an edge? Check out this article:



Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:18 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 9:20 pm
By Ryan Wilson

Not long after kicker Billy Cundiff pull-hooked a 32-yard field-goal attempt that would've likely sent the Ravens and Patriots to overtime, we wondered why Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh didn't use the team's last timeout. He said it never occurred to him, even though Cundiff was clearly rushed as he set up for a pretty important kick. By the time the ball was finally snapped, there was just one second remaining on the play clock.

A day later, there were reports that Cundiff "wasn't paying attention" which, frankly, seemed ludicrous.

Stefan Fatsis, who wrote a book on his summer as a training-camp kicker for the Broncos, spoke Monday with Cundiff who explained exactly what happened on that final, fateful play.


Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left that would have sent the game into overtime, and instead sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl.

Like most kickers, Cundiff has a routine on every drive that starts on first down and ends on fourth down, either with him on the field attempting a field goal or with the Ravens' punting. As he explained to Fatsis, because NFL sidelines are a crowded place, it's easiest to follow the action by watching it live on the stadium scoreboard. Except on the Ravens' final drive Sunday, the scoreboard read third down when, in reality, it was fourth down. Fatsis explains:

"Then, suddenly, chaos on the sidelines. Coaches were screaming — from the opposite end of the field to where Cundiff was thinking his third-down pre-kick kicker thoughts — for the field-goal unit. The play clock was ticking and Cundiff, as per normal, was back from the sideline and farther from the line of scrimmage than his teammates. As he was not expecting to go in yet, he had to run to get into position for a game-tying kick."

The confusion stemmed from an Anquan Boldin catch-and-fumble that was mistaken for a first down. (Boldin had fumbled the ball forward past the first-down marker. The rules state the ball must be returned to the spot of the fumble, which is what happened.)

According to the Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel, "[Terrell] Suggs said there was a discrepancy between the scoreboard at Gillette Stadium and what the officials were saying about what the down and distance was after Boldin’s fumble. The Ravens took shots at the end zone on 2nd-and-1 and 3rd-and-1 before bringing out Cundiff for a 32-yard field goal attempt."

The problem: what was actually second and third down on the field was shown on the scoreboard as first and second down, respectively. Hence Cundiff's confusion and the subsequent scrambling to get the kick off.

Which again raises the question: why didn't Harbaugh call timeout.

It doesn't matter now, of course. Cundiff, to his credit, isn't looking to shirk the blame. And his teammates, to a man, have his back.

"Every single guy who said something to me after the game, in the locker room, or on the plane" was supportive, Cundiff told Fatsis, including Harbaugh.


http://eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports. ... 8/34546429 (http://eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22475988/34546429)

hawaiiansteel
01-24-2012, 12:49 AM
why not, worked well before...

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb186/Polishwonder74/Patriots/patriots-cheaters.jpg

skyhawk
01-24-2012, 04:13 AM
Don't kill me here.

But Belichick was brilliant in not calling a timeout. Alot of teams try to ICE the kicker!! Rushing the play works MUCH better and I scream when idiots call a TO on a FG.

Low and behold he did rush and missed!

Now, you can ICE a FT shooter in basketball, but it's only you and the hoop. 11 guys are needed on a FG kick so calling a TO gives them time to get things together. No more icing the kicker! Silly.

Starlifter
01-24-2012, 06:44 AM
I think this was more of the ravens again failing to rise to the occasion. circumstances like the one described are not rare in the NFL. besides, there was 30 seconds left in the game. what did cundiff think was gonna happen?

phillyesq
01-24-2012, 09:47 AM
I think this was more of the ravens again failing to rise to the occasion. circumstances like the one described are not rare in the NFL. besides, there was 30 seconds left in the game. what did cundiff think was gonna happen?

Yup, this was on Cundiff and the Ravens coaching staff. If he wasn't ready or comfortable, he could have called a timeout. If Harbaugh sensed that they weren't ready, he could have called a time out.

I read the "report" on TMZ that was linked from PFT -- sounds like the Ravens sideline was an absolute mess, but that falls on them.

BradshawsHairdresser
01-24-2012, 10:04 AM
OK...let's not excuse or absolve the Ravens sideline, or Harbaugh, or Cundiff in any way....let's put the blame for the missed FG solely on them.

STILL...

How professional is it for the *'s employees to be behind with the down count on the scoreboard at that critical time of the game? I realize it's impossible to know for sure, but do you think it just happened, or do you suspect there were some shenanigans involved?

tiproast
01-24-2012, 10:34 AM
How professional is it for the *'s employees to be behind with the down count on the scoreboard at that critical time of the game? I realize it's impossible to know for sure, but do you think it just happened, or do you suspect there were some shenanigans involved?
I think this kind of thing happens all the time, to every franchise.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2173143

Leper Friend
01-24-2012, 10:38 AM
Sounds more like Ravens whining (like always) than anything. The bottom line is , they left a timeout on the field and they were rushed and unorganized. That's on the ravens , regardless of what the scoreboard says , the coaches should know.|

I'm not one to downplay any teams success. The Pats are probably the best run organization in the NFL right now. Downplaying whjat they've accomplished makes us sound like browns fans.

SidSmythe
01-24-2012, 11:08 AM
Don't kill me here.

But Belichick was brilliant in not calling a timeout. Alot of teams try to ICE the kicker!! Rushing the play works MUCH better and I scream when idiots call a TO on a FG.

Low and behold he did rush and missed!

Now, you can ICE a FT shooter in basketball, but it's only you and the hoop. 11 guys are needed on a FG kick so calling a TO gives them time to get things together. No more icing the kicker! Silly.

:Agree

phillyesq
01-24-2012, 11:19 AM
How professional is it for the *'s employees to be behind with the down count on the scoreboard at that critical time of the game? I realize it's impossible to know for sure, but do you think it just happened, or do you suspect there were some shenanigans involved?
I think this kind of thing happens all the time, to every franchise.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2173143

Wow. Quite a memory.

Like I said before, I think this reflects solely on the Ravens.

Congrats to you, and thanks to your team for knocking out the Ravens. :Cheers

Now, nothing personal, I'm going to have to root for Eli to win one championship more than his brother.

feltdizz
01-24-2012, 11:28 AM
Sounds more like Ravens whining (like always) than anything. The bottom line is , they left a timeout on the field and they were rushed and unorganized. That's on the ravens , regardless of what the scoreboard says , the coaches should know.|

I'm not one to downplay any teams success. The Pats are probably the best run organization in the NFL right now. Downplaying whjat they've accomplished makes us sound like browns fans.

yep... a coach should know...

funny thing is the same thing almost happened to the Giants but Eli caught it and told Coughlin to call a timeout. I wouldn't be surprised if this is done a lot by home teams in these types of situation. Play clocks tend to speed up at critical times late in games....

I actually believe fans and the media are trying to play UP the Pats accomplishments because they had a pretty easy road IMO and damn near fell into the SB. Not knocking them because I've seen them do it the hard way but this year we really helped them out big time and so did the Ravens.

I'll give them credit though.. I guess. :roll:

Jooser
01-25-2012, 06:55 AM
If Pats “cheated” Ravens, then shame on the Ravens

Posted by Mike Florio on January 24, 2012, 8:42 PM EST

Plenty of you have pointed out that the scoreboard at Gillette Stadium showed that it was third down when the Ravens actually faced the fourth down that became a field goal attempt that then became a field goal failure that sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl without having to win the game in overtime.

Ravens kicking consultant Randy Brown (yes, they actually employ a kicking consultant) had some potentially inflammatory remarks regarding the situation Tuesday morning on WIP radio in Philly.

“The scoreboard was one down behind, the entire last three plays, from what we understand,” Brown told our pal Angelo Cataldi. Asked if the Patriots did it on purpose, Brown said, “I don’t think you can rule anything out in New England, can you?”

Let’s humor Randy Brown, who was on the receiving end of a late-game shove from coach John Harbaugh that was caught on camera :shock: , and assume the Patriots instructed their scoreboard operator to pull a Jedi mind trick on the Ravens by screwing up the down. Why in the hell are the Ravens trusting the Patriots’ scoreboard operator to provide accurate information in crunch time of the AFC title game? If, as Brown contends, “I don’t think you can rule anything out in New England,” it would be foolish to presume that the Patriots haven’t deliberately botched with the down information.

Besides, why would the Ravens ever leave to chance the possibility that the scoreboard operator, accidentally or otherwise, has screwed up? The official down information is kept at field level, on those big orange sticks with the large number that reads 1, 2, 3, or 4.

The burden falls on both teams to at all times know what the down is. And if the Ravens choose to employ a “kicking consultant,” shouldn’t at a minimum the kicking consultant be consulting with the kicker as to when the kicker has to go out and kick?

Even if there’s any way to legitimately place blame on the Patriots for intentionally providing false down information to the Ravens via the scoreboard, the Ravens could have pressed pause on the process by calling a timeout. Instead, kicker Billy Cundiff became something akin to a participant in the Olympic skiing-and-shooting event known as the biathlon, running out to his position and then trying to regain his composure in time to put the ball through its target.

John Harbaugh spent nine years as the Eagles’ special-teams coordinator. If Harbaugh didn’t have the presence of mind to sense trouble and take a time out under those circumstances, the Ravens have no business suggesting that the Patriots in some way cheated.

That should be the end of the discussion, but the fact that Brown opted to throw stones at the Patriots could prompt a response from the league office. After all, the last time a team employee made off-the-cuff accusations regarding special-teams skullduggery, Jets owner Woody Johnson ended up calling Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross with an apology.

Permalink 148 Comments Latest Stories in: Baltimore Raven

fezziwig
01-25-2012, 08:55 AM
The Ravens screwed up as only the Ravens can do. I have no doubt that Bellicheat still cheats, it's just his way. were they cheating with the clock ? possibly but, the Ravens still could have had their act together.
Filming for 8 known seasons, having their QB with helmet comunications always own. Knocking out the other teams communication on critical drives, IR plqyers still practicing, employing a special person to steal signals...yeah, Bellicheat is a great coach :roll:

hawaiiansteel
01-25-2012, 12:27 PM
I think this kind of thing happens all the time, to every franchise.



Congrats to you and your team tiproast, you personally are a class act! :Cheers

and I loved watching the Ravens get eliminated... :ratsuck

Ghost
01-25-2012, 02:46 PM
Coach Harbaugh has admitted that it "never cossed his mind" to call a time out. :wft

If the kick (and kicker) was rushed and the ravens had a TO then that's on the head coach and it's a coaching fail. I mean, was he saving the TO to use in the offseason? Maybe on a golf course somewhere - "wait a minute, I'm calling the time out I had left over from the playoffs right now" (as the ball just misses the cup...)

fezziwig
01-25-2012, 05:19 PM
Tiproast isn't a bad dude but his signature isn't complete. It should have included, " And if any of that doesn't work, we'll cheat. "

hawaiiansteel
01-26-2012, 01:29 AM
John Harbaugh dismisses “Scoreboardgate” as “nonsense”

Posted by Mike Florio on January 25, 2012

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/harbauhh.jpg?w=250

On Sunday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave Ravens kicking consultant Randy Brown a shove on national television. Three days later, Harbaugh is essentially telling Brown to take his tinfoil-hat theory about the failed field goal attempt at the end of the AFC title game — and shove it.

“Any suggestion the wrong down info was a deliberate effort to affect the outcome of the game is nonsense,” Harbaugh said Wednesday, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.

Brown hinted at foul play when talking to WIP radio in Philly on Tuesday. “The scoreboard was one down behind, the entire last three plays, from what we understand,” Brown said. “I don’t think you can rule anything out in New England, can you?”

Cundiff himself said that he was rushed in part because the scoreboard showed that it was third down.

Harbaugh doesn’t want to hear any of that. “We knew what the down and distance were on our last series,” Harbaugh said. “The scoreboard was not a factor for us.”

It’s the right move. Reckless claims of cheating undermine the integrity of the team making them, and that’s surely something owner Steve Bisciotti doesn’t want to see. Besides, creating the impression that the Ravens actually relied on the scoreboard creates a Keystone Cops quality to the entire operation, something that neither Harbaugh nor Bisciotti nor anyone in the organization should want.

Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see if Cundiff and/or Brown return in 2012, either because of the missed kick or their subsequent comments about it.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... boardgate/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/25/john-harbaugh-addresses-scoreboardgate/)

tiproast
01-26-2012, 11:37 PM
Tiproast isn't a bad dude but his signature isn't complete. It should have included, " And if any of that doesn't work, we'll cheat. "
Mmmm, that' s not a bad idea.

If Pats win the Super Bowl, I'll change my signature. It will be a real Belichick quote, but something able to be interpreted in multiple ways, such as this one:

“That's part of the game, ... Sometimes that stuff happens.”

What was he talking about? Maybe it was a fumble, or a penalty, or just maybe it was getting caught having a cameraman standing in a location not approved by Dictator-for-life Goodell.

Sword
01-27-2012, 08:59 AM
OK, this Cheating thing is BS..at most belichick did something that wasn't allowed
by the NFL. This practice has been around since the 70's by many teams..

You cannot cheat..it takes great skill to get the ball from point A to point B...

In relation to when Steelers played the Pats.
Hell, I can tell you what the Steelers are going to do before each play 90% of the time.
Oh lets see we are in the Red Zone and it's
First down: run up the middle..
Second down: run up the middle after spending to much time in backfield playing with the ball..
Third down: run up the middle after...oh again playing with ball but, since we hung on to the ball to long Ben is sacked....

Sword

feltdizz
01-27-2012, 09:24 AM
OK, this Cheating thing is BS..at most belichick did something that wasn't allowed
by the NFL. This practice has been around since the 70's by many teams..

You cannot cheat..it takes great skill to get the ball from point A to point B...

In relation to when Steelers played the Pats.
Hell, I can tell you what the Steelers are going to do before each play 90% of the time.
Oh lets see we are in the Red Zone and it's
First down: run up the middle..
Second down: run up the middle after spending to much time in backfield playing with the ball..
Third down: run up the middle after...oh again playing with ball but, since we hung on to the ball to long Ben is sacked....

Sword

Ben was our QB in 2001? :wink:

Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson said this during an interview with USA TODAY shortly after he retired in 2005.

"Every now and then I'd get a sheet, one hour before the game, with a list of audibles for our opponent," Johnson said in November 2005. "I don't know how, but they just showed up."

fezziwig
01-30-2012, 06:29 PM
OK, this Cheating thing is BS..at most belichick did something that wasn't allowed
by the NFL. This practice has been around since the 70's by many teams..

You cannot cheat..it takes great skill to get the ball from point A to point B...

In relation to when Steelers played the Pats.
Hell, I can tell you what the Steelers are going to do before each play 90% of the time.
Oh lets see we are in the Red Zone and it's
First down: run up the middle..
Second down: run up the middle after spending to much time in backfield playing with the ball..
Third down: run up the middle after...oh again playing with ball but, since we hung on to the ball to long Ben is sacked....

Sword

Ben was our QB in 2001? :wink:

Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson said this during an interview with USA TODAY shortly after he retired in 2005.

"Every now and then I'd get a sheet, one hour before the game, with a list of audibles for our opponent," Johnson said in November 2005. "I don't know how, but they just showed up."

It's called cheating. Freakin Bellicheat doesn't want enough of his teams information out that could cover the tip of a needle but, stealing any information, plays, signals from another team is okay for him. Piece of $hit dirt bag is all he is.

ikestops85
01-31-2012, 12:08 PM
OK, this Cheating thing is BS..at most belichick did something that wasn't allowed
by the NFL. This practice has been around since the 70's by many teams..

You cannot cheat..it takes great skill to get the ball from point A to point B...

In relation to when Steelers played the Pats.
Hell, I can tell you what the Steelers are going to do before each play 90% of the time.
Oh lets see we are in the Red Zone and it's
First down: run up the middle..
Second down: run up the middle after spending to much time in backfield playing with the ball..
Third down: run up the middle after...oh again playing with ball but, since we hung on to the ball to long Ben is sacked....

Sword

Ben was our QB in 2001? :wink:

Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson said this during an interview with USA TODAY shortly after he retired in 2005.

"Every now and then I'd get a sheet, one hour before the game, with a list of audibles for our opponent," Johnson said in November 2005. "I don't know how, but they just showed up."

I'd never heard that before. Do you have a link for it?

edit: Nevermind. I just googled it and it is everywhere. I can't believe I never heard that before. :?

Eich
01-31-2012, 12:43 PM
I think Flutie has said pretty much the same thing. And then there was Brady's odd response to a question with, "it's easy when you have the answers to the test".

BradshawsHairdresser
01-31-2012, 01:18 PM
As long as Ernie Adams is working for the *'s, they will be under suspicion in my mind. Can anyone tell us just what he does?

feltdizz
01-31-2012, 01:24 PM
As long as Ernie Adams is working for the *'s, they will be under suspicion in my mind. Can anyone tell us just what he does?

he takes mental photographs... What if the Pats come out and completely destroy the Giants. Is it game planning? Stolen signals?

The only way the Pats* can prove they don't cheat is to lose big on Sunday. :wink:

fezziwig
01-31-2012, 02:41 PM
I can't remember the player or the link about a player that got signed to the Cheats from another team and he said, He was shocked to see Cheat players practicing with the team while they were on the injury list.
Also, Fluttie made comment something to the affect that, Brady's helmet communication doesn't get turned off or more than one player has communication with the bench. I can't say that for sure but, Fluttie said something about the helmet communications.

Slapstick
01-31-2012, 03:53 PM
It was Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald who talked about Flutie receiving radio info on his backup QB helmet after the NFL prescribed time limit...

There have also been theories that the Patriots used different radio frequencies than those monitored by the NFL in order to hide that very thing...

Imagine Brady given info on a blitz with the play clock at :15 (NFL turns it off at :20)...is that enough time to audible? Yep...

feltdizz
01-31-2012, 03:56 PM
It was Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald who talked about Flutie receiving radio info on his backup QB helmet after the NFL prescribed time limit...

There have also been theories that the Patriots used different radio frequencies than those monitored by the NFL in order to hide that very thing...

Imagine Brady given info on a blitz with the play clock at :15 (NFL turns it off at :20)...is that enough time to audible? Yep...

why stop at :15? What if it's on after the snap? LOL...

"In the flat, he's open in the flat!" :D

fezziwig
01-31-2012, 05:37 PM
Not only for the above mentioned but, just being eyes in the back of Bradys head to avoid a sack.

Let's not forget about visiting teams complaining that they would have communication failure whenever the visiting team would be having a positive drive and the Cheats back on their heals.

aaah, the patriots and their fans have so much to be proud of with their false victories :roll:

fordfixer
02-04-2012, 02:37 AM
‘Football researcher’ Ernie Adams is biggest mystery behind Bill Belichick’s secretive Patriots
Les Carpenter
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=l ... hick020212 (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=lc-carpenter_ernie_adams_patriots_adviser_belichick02 0212)
By Les Carpenter,

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. Ernie Adams’ official title with the Patriots is “Director of Football Research.” What does that mean? Is he a scout? A cruncher of numbers? A cracker of codes?

No one much knows because he rarely speaks publicly.

The Patriots are in their fifth Super Bowl in 10 years and Belichick’s closest adviser has yet to appear at a single Super Bowl event. He has never attended Media Day or any of the league’s other media sessions. He appears to have agreed to two interviews during the Patriots’ run: one with the alumni magazine at Northwestern University, where he was a student-coach on the football team, the other with author David Halberstam when he wrote a book on Belichick a few years back. Otherwise he has remained silent.
More From Les Carpenter

Bill Belichick keeps many things about the Patriots close to the vest. That includes one of his trusty advisers.


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.

“He’s a mystery to us, too,” special teams coach Scott O’Brien says with a smile. It isn’t clear if this is a joke.

When trying to describe Adams and what he does, team employees shrug. Some profiles indicate he should be 57, but he has no official biography with the team and therefore no way to check. He is in the coaches’ box during games, but no coaches or players will say whether he is the one talking to Belichick on his headset. What they do say is he dissects tape better than anyone they’ve seen; that he can see things on the field that nobody else would ever find; that he is brilliant; and that he attacks football problems for Belichick, whom he leaves his office to see two or three times a day.

“I think he has a photographic memory,” O’Brien says.

Others who have worked with him say the same thing.

“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.

Adams has always been a genius in that way you might read about in a book or see in a move but never believe such a person could be real. He was raised in the elite prep schools of Massachusetts: Dexter School in Brookline and Phillips Academy in Andover, and there was no limit to what fed his curiosity. But his passion was football.

Years ago, Adams told Halberstam that in junior high school he read and loved an obscure guide to scouting written by Belichick’s father, Steve, an assistant at Navy. When Bill Belichick showed up at football practice at Phillips, his last name scrawled on a piece of tape across the front of the helmet, Adams was thrilled. Was this Belichick related to the great Steve?

Even before Adams arrived at Northwestern he was looking to coach. He wrote to then head coach Alex Agase asking if there were any student assistant coaching positions open. Agase actually wrote back and suggested Adams become a student manager, which he did for a semester.

After the season, Adams delivered Agase a long, detailed research report about the drop-back pass. Agase was overwhelmed that a freshman could produce such a thing and asked Robertson to see if they could use Adams as a scout. Robertson and another assistant took Adams to the spring game at Notre Dame, sent him to a different part of the press box and asked him to diagram every play. As a test, the coaches decided to play a trick by saying one of the plays had been a run and not a screen pass as Adams had indicated.

“Oh no, it was a screen,” Robertson remembers Adams replying. “That’s where the official fell down.”

The two coaches looked at each other. Neither had noticed an official tumbling. If Adams could notice that kind of detail and then remember it, he could handle scouting. Adams became a Northwestern assistant coach before his sophomore year.

“When they gave him the keys to the film room, you’d have thought they gave him the keys to a Mercedes,” Robertson says.

Even then Adams was something of a mystery to the men around him. He showed up every day after his classes carrying a black briefcase, eager to get inside the film room. He never talked about his classes, never mentioned his grades, never carried a textbook or appeared to study. The Northwestern assistants never knew his major or even if he graduated. He’d just head to the film room and stay there until well into the night preparing his analysis on the rest of the Big Ten.

A few times, overwhelmed by curiosity, the Northwestern coaches peeked inside Adams’ briefcase. The contents were always the same: a sandwich, a collapsible umbrella and a copy of that day’s New York Times. They assumed he ate the sandwich and read the paper but they weren’t even sure of that because they never saw him do any of these things.

Late in Adams’ senior year, Robertson took him on a recruiting trip to several high schools around the Chicago area. They popped in the coaches’ offices and made some small talk and essentially did little more than show their interest in continuing a relationship for when good players came along. On the drive home, Robertson noticed Adams was silent, his face white and his head buried in his hands. He realized right then there was no way Adams could coach college football. Recruiting and all the fake social niceties that went with it were not for him.

Robertson set out to find Adams a job in the NFL. Through contacts a connection was made with the Patriots where he could spend entire days pouring through game films. While there, Adams told the Northwestern alumni magazine he invented a new way of film study – physically cutting pieces of film and taping them together to analyze, for instance, all of a team’s goal-line plays.

In 1979, Adams went to the New York Giants where he scouted, helped coach the quarterbacks and implored Giants coach Ray Perkins to hire his old friend Belichick.

Randy Dean, the quarterback at Northwestern when Adams was there and later with the Giants, remembers Adams stepping into the quarterbacks meetings to talk about things on tape that none of them would have noticed.

“He had all these great insights,” Dean says. “It was like he had a whole library in his mind. He was more strategic than technical and it was more cerebral than anything.”

Adams worked a few years when Bill Parcells came to the Giants, but eventually became bored after being moved to the pro personnel department. Looking for a new challenge, he went to work on Wall Street. Those interviewed for this story know little of his time in the investment world where he worked as a municipal bond trader. They aren’t sure where he worked, what exactly he did or what kind of money he made. They assume he was successful but that’s based more on Adams’ savvy and intelligence than any actual information they’ve been given.

“I had a real interest in investments,” Adams told the Northwestern magazine, “so I took the job with the bond firm. I liked it – every day was competitive, and it was a different part of the world. But it became a combination of enjoying it and missing football at the same time.”

When Belichick was hired to coach the Cleveland Browns in 1991, he brought Adams with him. Five years later, when Belichick was fired, Adams opened his own investment office, coming back to football only when the Patriots hired Belichick in 2000.

O’Brien laughs at the Northwestern description of Adams, especially the briefcase.

“He still carries one!” O’Brien exclaims. “Maybe it’s the same one. He’s very old school.”

In the early part of the last decade, former quarterback Damon Huard used to drive a Toyota Camry to the stadium, leaving at home a nicer minivan for his wife and kids. When he pulled into the team parking lot, he was always relieved to see there was one car worse than his: Ernie Adams’.

“I hope now that the Patriots have won some Super Bowls they are paying him more and he can finally afford a new car,” Huard says, apparently unaware that Adams could afford several nicer cars but sees no need.

“I think he’s had that car for 20 years,” Robertson says.

But this is Adams, uninterested in any of the celebrity that comes with professional football; a rare coach untouched by ego. When told a request for an interview with Adams was made through the Patriots, Dean chuckles. Those who know Adams say he is uninterested in attention. Nothing personal. “He doesn’t see it as interesting,” Dean says. “To him it’s, ‘Who cares?’ ”

And yet those who have gotten to Adams say it’s a fascinating experience. He knows something about everything. His friends say you can talk to him for hours about anything from football to politics to culture. He has symphony tickets. He reads. A lot. But they also say that conversations with him lack the usual flow of an informal chat. Rather, Adams waits for someone to ask a question, then gives a detailed answer before stopping and waiting for the next question.

“There’s nothing you can ask Ernie about that he can’t give a succinct answer to,” Robertson says. “I haven’t found an area of knowledge where he isn’t top level.”

Just as long as the conversation does not turn to the Patriots, for when it does, Adams stops. He will reveal nothing about the way the team operates, not even to good friends. Questions about the way the team scouts or runs practices or finds players are met with silence. Robertson has often wondered what systems the team uses for keeping track of scouting reports. Adams tells him nothing. Nor will he reveal his real duties with the team or whether he talks to Belichick during games. Like everything else on Belichick’s Patriots, Adams falls behind a wall of secrecy.

Around the Patriots, Adams has gained a reputation as the man to go to with any historical football question, usually the earlier the era the better. On a weekly quarterbacks test, backup QB Brian Hoyer was baffled by a question about the 1950s Philadelphia Eagles defense. He went to Adams, who immediately answered it. Players go to Adams with rules questions knowing he will respond without pulling the book down from the shelf.

[* Yahoo! Sports Radio: Ex-Patriot Harrison on the famous Tyree catch]

Yet, when it comes to what he actually does they don’t really know. They shrug, helpless to give an answer. They call him “Coach Adams,” but is he really a coach? A scout? An executive? Belichick’s secret advisor?

“No clue what he does,” safety Patrick Chung says. “No clue at all. Maybe he’s an undercover genius.”

They don’t know. Perhaps because they are winning they don’t care.

Maybe it’s better this way.