The Panthers will formally introduce former New York Giants executive Dave Gettleman as their new general manager early next week.
The introduction will come less than a year after Gettleman shifted to a newly created position in the Giants pro personnel department in a move he described at the time as a chance to step back and re-evaluate.
Gettleman, who turns 62 next month, spent 25 years in the NFL before becoming a GM. His impressive resume includes being part of six Super Bowl teams, including three that won titles.
The biggest question with Gettleman involves the circumstances surrounding his job change last summer when the Giants restructured their pro personnel division.
Its a question Giants general manager Jerry Reese declined to address during a phone interview Thursday.
He probably can explain that better than I can, Reese said. But one thing I can tell you is Dave is always here when hes supposed to be here. He comes early. He stays late. And he can get the job done. Hes done everything weve asked him to do here. Hes been great to work with. Hes been a great friend.
Gettleman has been unavailable for comment since being named the Panthers GM on Wednesday. He accepted the job a couple of hours after interviewing with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and ex-Giants GM Ernie Accorsi, a friend and former colleague of Gettlemans who was a paid consultant on the search.
Accorsi said in an e-mail to The Observer on Wednesday that Gettleman was totally deserving of the job, a sentiment echoed by Reese.
Hes a winner. You just look at his background and you can see winning everywhere hes been. And you can see Super Bowl rings wherever hes been, Reese said. I think thats the first thing the fan base should be excited about, and the Panthers. They got a hard-working guy who knows personnel and understands the big picture. And hes that grinder, a guy who can put the work out. I think hes a terrific choice.
Gettleman was one of two members of the Giants front office who interviewed with the Panthers. Marc Ross, New Yorks college scouting director, met with Richardson and Accorsi on Tuesday.
Ross, 39, also interviewed with Jacksonville, San Diego and the Jets about their GM openings.
They couldnt go wrong taking either one of the guys, Reese said of the Panthers. Daves been around obviously for a while and has a lot of experience in the National Football League. And actually Marcs a little bit younger than Dave, but hes been around as well.
Both of those guys have been a strong part of our success around here. I was pulling for both of them. And obviously, selfishly, I dont want either one of them to leave.
The Panthers also interviewed interim general manager Brandon Beane, Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson and Montreal Alouettes GM Dave Popp of the CFL. Minnesota Vikings assistant GM George Paton also had been mentioned as a candidate.
Gettleman, who started as a scout in Buffalo and won a Super Bowl ring with Denver, had spent 13 years as the Giants pro personnel director before last summers reorganization. Gettleman became the Giants senior pro personnel analyst, and Ken Sternfeld succeeded him as director.
My role moving forward will be strictly player evaluation, Gettleman said at the time of the change, according to Newsday. Its a little bit of a restructuring in the way the pro personnel department operates. I thought at this point in my career it was time to take a step back and re-evaluate. Weve been very successful.
Gettleman hopes to duplicate that success with Carolina, which has gone four years since its last winning season and playoff appearance. After morning meetings Thursday at Bank of America Stadium, Gettleman returned to New Jersey to begin getting ready to move.
He will be back in Charlotte by Monday to get started with his new job. Reese said all the years Gettleman spent preparing for this moment wont matter if the Panthers dont win.
It comes down to this: If the Panthers thrive under Dave, theyll say hes a smart GM. If they dont, theyll say hes not that smart, Reese said. Thats what you sign up for. Theres nothing in between with these kind of jobs. You have to win. Its a show-me business. He knows that. I think hes up for the challenge.