The Panthers front office has managed to go in a different direction by just following their age old philosophy.
Today is a big day in Pantherland. Our beloved team has a new GM in David Gettleman, and the Panthers have managed to change while largely staying the same. While fans are touting the move as a new step in the right direction, and proclaiming that maybe JR can indeed change his ways, the old man ultimately has the last laugh. Today, Jerry Richardson did absolutely nothing different from what he has been doing all along, but at least for a day... he is the people's champion.
In a moment, I am going to describe to you a candidate, and I would like you to envision who it is.
- Blue collar worker, largely respected by his peers, does not draw attention to his achievements, works under the radar in an extremely important role, considered to be of vital importance to his former teams success.
- Has spent many years in an assistant role, and has excelled in that role, however has been passed over for promotion before despite several promising interviews.
- Described by colleagues as "just a guy who needs an opportunity" and "deserves a chance"
- Often described as no-nonsense, able to make the right decision regardless of whether it is the popular one.
- Has never served in his current role before.
So, who is this mystery man? Is it...
A) Ron Rivera, circa 2011
B) Dave Gettleman, circa now.
Go ahead and guess... this is one of those great tests where you get 100 just for filling out your name and choosing an answer, because both would be correct.
I raise this point, because today's GM hire instantly brought me back to the red roses and sunshine of the Ron Rivera hire. Optimism was sky high, and nearly every member of CSR was gushing about how there was no doubt at all that Rivera was the perfect candidate for the job and destined for greatness. Oh, the photoshops, the magnificent photoshops...
... fast forward to 2012-13, and we are all intensely debating whether Ron Rivera deserves to come back for a 3rd season. A far cry from the sure thing we were all led to believe that he was. While it seems to many that the ship has been righted, and that Rivera is finally coming into his own, make no mistake... that leash is shorter than Gary Coleman when the rent is due to his landlord, Willis. Another 1-4 start, and he is sure to be jettisoned quite quickly.
Enter Dave Gettleman, who enters with a similar resume of a guy just needing a shot. Another sure thing, foolishly cast aside for years against all logic, destined for greatness. A guy who fits the same exact mold that JR had conveniently fashioned 2 years ago.
Look, don't get me wrong here... I'm just as excited about the hire as most everyone else. The man has a proven resume that would indicate he is 100% ready for the challenge of being a GM. I'm just being the devil's advocate here to say that it may take time. Just like the Rivera hire. We as fans need to be patient, and to be as cliche as possible... remind ourselves that Rome wasn't built in a day. Gettleman, despite his years of experience, will be prone to "rookie mistakes" as he has never actually been in this position before, no matter how close he came to it. Being a successful "senior pro personnel analyst" is NOT the same as being a successful general manager, just like being a successful "defensive coordinator" is NOT the same as being a successful head coach.
Patience. Please. Let the man work.
... And while you do that, realize that once again, the crafty stubborn old man and his clock have won the day.