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Matt (Patriots) and Mike (Eagles) Groh on opposite sides of the ball

Bill Belichick called the Grohs a “good, strong family.’’
Bill Belichick called the Grohs a “good, strong family.’’matt rourke/Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — The Patriots-Eagles game Sunday involved some family rivalry, and it happens to be a family that goes way back with Bill Belichick.

Matt Groh, a national scout for the Patriots, is busy these days with college football in full swing. His brother, Mike Groh, is the offensive coordinator for the Eagles. They both go way back with Belichick, who knew both as they were growing up because of their father, former NFL coach Al Groh, worked with Belichick with the Giants, the Browns, and the Patriots.

“I’ve known Mike since Al was with the Giants and they won the state championship in New Jersey,” Belichick said this week, referring to Mike Groh’s days as quarterback and kicker for Randolph High School. “And then Matt played when we were on Long Island, and [I’ve] stayed in contact with Al, Matt, Mike, Anne [Groh] through the years.”

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Matt Groh, in his ninth season with the Patriots, joined the organization as a scouting assistant. He held that position for two seasons before being promoted to area scout, a title he held until getting promoted to national scout this year. His promotion helped fill the hole left by former Patriots national scout Dujuan Daniels, who left for a personnel executive position with the Raiders in the offseason.

“He’s moved up and has been in the southeast, which is really a critical, critical area in college scouting,” Belichick said. “Now he’s expanded from that to — I don’t really know exactly what the title is, throwing those terms around. But yeah, he’s one of our top scouts. Let’s put it that way.”

Mike Groh was hired as the receivers coach in Philadelphia in 2017, having been with the Rams, where his title was passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach. His status with the Eagles has a funny Patriots wrinkle to it; his promotion to offensive coordinator last season came after Frank Reich left to become the Colts head coach, a job Josh McDaniels declined to accept.

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Though football is in the family bloodlines, it wasn’t a sure thing that Matt would make his career in it. He went to Princeton, where he played quarterback for the football team, then went on to get a law degree from the University of Virginia in 2008. A few years later, he gave up practicing law to join the Patriots’ scouting staff.

“It’s a good, strong family,” Belichick said. “But Matt’s done a great job for us. He’s kind of worked his way up. Left his law career behind and converted to football, and he’s done an excellent job of scouting for us and helping build the depth of our football team.”


Nora Princiotti can be reached at nora.princiotti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @NoraPrinciotti.