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Five things we learned from Nancy Meier's Q&A with NFL

The Patriots' director of scouting administration was highlighted in the league's "Next Woman Up" series.

Nancy Meier has seen it all when it comes to the Patriots.

Since starting as a part-time clerical employee in 1974 (before a full-time promotion the next year), her roles and responsibilities have evolved -- to the point where it would impossible to encapsulate how integral she is to the organization by just her title: director of scouting administration.

Meier has been around for all four owners, nine different coaching staffs, and all 11 Super Bowl appearances. Along the way, she's managed to be most every player's warmest welcome when they first arrive in Foxboro, leaving lasting impressions with those she encounters to help pave the way for other women working in professional football.

Here are five things we learned about the Patriots' longest-tenured employee from her interview with the NFL for its "Next Woman Up" series:

1. Flexibility has been key for Meier when it comes to all the changes she's seen during almost 47 years with the team. She credits Robert Kraft for the support she receives in her role and for the stability his ownership brought the team.

"There was a big shift in the stability and success of the Patriots after they purchased the team," Meier told the NFL. "For New England Fans, and especially me, we were so thankful the Patriots would stay in New England, as the organization was on the brink of moving to St. Louis. We interact a lot and know that everyone must do their job to make it easier on everyone else."

2. Meier was 19 when she began working for the Patriots, though she studied fashion merchandising and never anticipated a career in football. She took a job typing and filing for the scouting department to help a family friend -- despite not knowing what a scout did or that drafts weren't only used in war.

"It started in simple terms, but the foundation was just wonderful," she said. "They continued to give me opportunities to grow. Seriously, I think I worked for $3 an hour. That's not even a joke in the 1970s. That's what you made. To have been able to grow from that and be part of the support for a professional football team has been a blessing for me and my life."

3. The first NFL Draft she took part in was 1975. Meier was about the same age as tight end Russ Francis, whom the Patriots chose with their first selection. The No. 16 overall draft pick was around the same age as Meier at the time. She keeps his photo in her office and Francis has kept in touch.

4. When Nick Caserio first started with the New England scouting department in 2003 he was Meier's assistant. She loves the fact that as he was promoted within the organization to director of player personnel, she eventually became his assistant. Meier considers Caserio, now general manager of the Houston Texans, to be one of her mentors.

"It's great to see the roles change and still have the respect," Meier noted. "Because they know I'm still a wealth of knowledge when it comes to day-to-day work after all these years."

5. Meier is proud to have been part of the Patriots' sustained success, and in doing so, she's blazed a trail for women who came after her working in professional sports. When she started, women predominantly worked secretarial roles. Obviously much has changed there, for her individually and women in general.

"The effort to incorporate women in the NFL has increased in the last 20 years, but there always can be more," Meier said. It's great to see women in certain roles and think nothing of it, and maybe, women like me have paved the way for that a little bit."

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