Bill Belichick didn’t promote Matt Groh to director of player personnel simply because he felt like zigging while others were zagging.
The Patriots head coach’s decision to tab Groh, a former college scout, as Dave Ziegler’s replacement instead of the more-experienced Eliot Wolf remains a controversial one. It’s one of multiple offseason moves that reportedly have “flabbergasted” people around the NFL. That Groh still hasn’t spoken to reporters about his new job has helped make him a bit of a mystery to New England fans, many of whom are nervous about the direction of the franchise.
(Just take a look at Groh’s sparse Wikipedia page, which doesn’t even include his age.)
But people around the Patriots and the NFL apparently think a lot of Groh, who is 41 years old. In fact, Groh is viewed as someone who isn’t afraid to speak his mind to Belichick.
Check out this column published Thursday by Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard, who was at the NFL Annual Meeting:
Matt Groh’s ascension from area scout a few years ago to director of player personnel has been eyebrow-raising and completely out of character for this organization. But it is now clear to me that great things are expected of Groh. Yes, he does not have a big personality or voice, but his intellect and how he applies that to his job is absolutely revered by those around him in the organization. The feeling is that Groh is going to be outstanding in his new role, and while he’s quiet, he does know how to get his point across to Belichick.
Time will tell whether Belichick made the right decision in promoting Groh. And the new Patriots personnel chief soon will get his first big test, as team owner Robert Kraft is putting pressure on the franchise to have another strong draft.
Of course, Belichick still has final say on all personnel decisions, but it sounds like he has a capable co-pilot as the Patriots continue navigating their post-Tom Brady world.