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2020 NFL draft: IT specialist Dan Famosi taking center stage in Patriots’ virtual draft preparation

Related: Bill Belichick draws comparisons between Coronavirus and 2011 lockout

NFL: Preseason-New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The group of people who have won six Super Bowls as members of the New England Patriots is a small one. Quarterback Tom Brady, head coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft are the most famous but not the only members of the prestigious club. Long-time assistant coach Josh McDaniels, director of player personnel Nick Caserio and football research director Ernie Adams are also all part of this group, for example.

So is Dan Famosi.

Wait, who?

You may not be familiar with his name, but Dan Famosi has been a part of the Patriots’ organization from the very beginning of its dynastic run, and has earned six championship rings along the way. He originally joined the club back in 2000 — the same year both Brady and Belichick arrived in New England — as a senior developer, and since 2013 is holding the title of information technology specialist. In short, Famosi is the Patriots’ tech guy.

Whether it is the day-to-day IT needs of the Patriots’ coaching, scouting and football operations departments, supporting and maintaining the team’s electronic playbooks, providing technical support for the team during road games or maintaining a research database for the pro and college player scouts, Famosi is wearing numerous hats. He is furthermore serving as New England’s sideline communications technician on game day.

You actually may have seen him before in his game-day role. Whenever Bill Belichick is having some sort of issue with the tablets regularly used on the sidelines Famosi is usually nearby trying to fix the problem. Such was the case during the early parts of the 2016, when Belichick famously took to the podium to deliver a 761-word rant about the unreliability of the equipment provided by the NFL and that he would be “done with the tablets.”

Back then, Belichick praised Famosi for doing “a great job of handling those things” and his tone has not changed since — especially now that Famosi has taken center stage in the team’s current pre-draft preparation: the college player selection meeting and a considerable portion of interviews leading up to it are all taking place in a virtual setting due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This means that the Patriots’ IT department has to take on a considerable role both in getting the technology and the personnel ready.

“It’s been interesting to get educated on different technologies,” said Belichick during a media conference call earlier this week. “Dan Famosi has done a tremendous job for us because he’s had to navigate a lot of this. I mean, there’s the coaching side of it, there’s the scouting, there’s the playbook and preparing for the offseason program side of it, meetings and so forth. Just to be able to deal with so many people that are — some are very proficient at some of the things we’re doing, and others, like myself, are remedial.”

“And so putting things together on a lot of different levels for multiple groups and interactions that cross over different connections and needs and ‘can we do this with this type of meeting and this kind of conversation and can we do something else’ — you know, some are one-on-ones, some it’s five people, 10 people, 20 people, and we’re preparing for larger groups than that,” continued Belichick when talking about the technological aspect behind the draft and the process leading up to it.

Even more so than in years past, Famosi has therefore taken on a key role in getting the team as a whole and its technological equipment ready to handle this situation — a rather unusual one from a preparatory perspective. True to the Patriots’ “Do Your Job”-mantra, however, he seems to be performing at a level satisfying the team’s head coach: “There really are a lot of moving parts, and Dan’s done a tremendous job for us and tried to pull a lot of things together and remotely help out people like me that need a lot of help.”