Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane says nothing shocks him anymore in the NFL, but the former Carolina Panthers assistant GM admitted being “caught off guard” by his ex-boss’ firing a week before the start of training camp.
Beane, hired by Buffalo in May, is uniquely qualified to discuss Dave Gettleman’s abrupt firing in July and the decision to bring back Marty Hurney as interim GM two days later.
Beane worked with both men in Carolina and has respect for both.
“I felt for Dave. Dave is a very good man. He taught me a lot,” Beane said during a conference call Wednesday. “We had a great working relationship. He did a heck of a job while he was there and I think he’ll land back somewhere else if he wants to get back in.”
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Beane said he thought Hurney was the “perfect guy” to replace Gettleman, given Hurney’s familiarity with the organization, coaching staff and much of the roster.
Had Beane still been in Charlotte, he would have been that perfect guy to take over – a well-liked bridge builder who’d spent his entire 19-year professional career with the Panthers.
“Yes, I felt like I would be the next in line if I’d stayed,” Beane said. “But I really felt like this opportunity was the next, right step for me.”
Beane and Buffalo coach Sean McDermott, who spent six years as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator, will face their former team Sunday when the Bills come to Charlotte.
Beane laughed when asked whether he’d be a candidate to return to Carolina when Hurney begins the process of helping the Panthers’ find a permanent GM after the season.
“I’m here in Buffalo,” Beane said. “I signed a long-term deal here and I’m excited about what’s going on here.”
But Beane said he’d be happy to provide feedback to Hurney and Panthers owner Jerry Richardson on the GM search, if he’s asked and it doesn’t put the Bills at a competitive disadvantage.
Beane said he’d do anything to help the organization, saying his voice was cracking when discussing how appreciative he is of Richardson.