Belichick is still consulting with Dante Scarnecchia and Ernie Adams on a part-time basis


Bill Belichick is still apparently consulting with a couple of longtime lieutenants in the midst of the latest brain drain in Foxborough.

The Patriots’ head coach is in regular communication with Ernie Adams and Dante Scarnecchia regarding prospect and scheme evaluation, reports ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Adams officially announced his retirement last May, whereas Scarnecchia retired in 2019. He originally stepped aside following the 2013 campaign, but came back three years later to help rebuild the Patriots’ struggling offensive line.

Reiss says soon-to-be-retired running backs coach Ivan Fears is also expected to maintain contact with Belichick after leaving his day-to-day duties.

Adams, a man of mystery who held the ambiguous title of “football research director,” is maybe Belichick’s most trusted confidante. He convinced the Giants to hire Belichick as a special teams coach before moving with Belichick to Cleveland as an offensive assistant. Then-Browns owner Art Modell famously quipped he would pay someone $10,000 if they could tell him what Adams did.

When the Patriots hired Belichick in 2000, he promptly brought Adams aboard, but to serve in the football research director role. His responsibilities supposedly spanned from advising Belichick on challenges to building the Patriots’ player value draft chart.

Scarnecchia, 74, first joined the Patriots in 1982, and then returned to the team in 1991. He was Belichick’s O-line coach from 2000-13, but still worked with the club in an unofficial capacity before returning full-time in 2016.

At this stage in Belichick’s career, it’s apparent he values familiarity from his assistants more than anything. But unlike others in Belichick’s circle, such as Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, Adams and Scarnecchia have a long track record of success.

Sometimes, the guys behind the curtain wield the biggest influence.

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