Incoming general manager Dave Gettleman conducted his first press conference with the Carolina Panthers, and stressed the need to build through the draft, while doing what it takes to bring Jerry Richardson a Lombardi trophy.
Speaking through a thick Northeast accent, Dave Gettleman was comfortable and relaxed -- not afraid of lightening the mood with some self deprecating humor, while saying that his approach will be very similar to Marty Hurney's. If you were looking for wholesale changes, and huge money in free agency then you'll be disappointed. Gettleman talked of the need to build through the draft, "raise their own", while using free agency to patch holes, rather than build a team.
When asked about the Panthers' salary cap situation, he was non-committal, but clearly knew a little more than he let on. Saying he'd need to look into it more, he didn't indicate there would be huge changes -- not yet. This desire to get a lay of the land continued, as Dave Gettleman spoke about how he will use these initial weeks to "get to know the Panthers family", rather than have lists of potential coaches, scouts, and executives to install.
There's no guessing who he is. This is a man with 25 years of experience, he wears his emotion on his sleeve, and openly talked about his frustration at getting passed over for many jobs. He talked about how society is moving towards the new "whizzbang" executives, causing him to get passed over as an older man. This is someone who wanted to show his success, and he has the rings to prove it.
The move now will be to get a new offensive coordinator following Rob Chudzinski's exit to Cleveland. Gettleman wants someone in the job quickly, who will run a balanced offense. This is a search we can hope will be concluded by the end of the week.
Dave Gettleman derided communism, talked about his halitosis, and expressed the need to find the bathroom. This is the antithesis of a neatly dressed, slick executive -- he's a football guy. When things are crazy, Gettleman talked about leaning on what he knows, and what he knows is player evaluation; he mentioned how he will spend time with "the clicker in my hand", indicating that he will still be studying film -- even with the new job.
This is a man who has been desiring a chance, and he discussed his need to "leave a legacy". Hopefully this will take the form of great success, and trophies in Carolina's future.