Panthers' new GM Gettleman ready to take charge


Panthers' new GM Gettleman ready to take charge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is confident new general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Ron Rivera are the right men to ``fix things'' in Carolina.

The Panthers haven't been to the postseason since 2008 and haven't won a playoff game since 2005. Richardson said he's counting on both to change that trend soon.

``I think his experience will not only benefit the organization, but will be terrific for Ron at this time of his career,'' Richardson said.

Richardson introduced Gettleman at a news conference Tuesday, saying he likes that his new GM comes from a winning organization like the New York Giants. Gettleman has been to six Super Bowls with Buffalo, Denver and the Giants and has won three championships.

Gettleman, wearing a suit, glasses and Super Bowl ring on his right hand told Richardson through his thick Boston accent, ``if we do this right, you and I will be holding up a trophy.''

The 61-year-old Gettleman said he wondered if this opportunity would ever come after spending 25 years in the league but continuously being passed over for interviews.

``The say good things come to those who wait and I feel like this is absolutely the perfect fit for me,'' Gettleman said. ``... It was time for me to move to significance and a lot of that is thinking about legacy. What is your legacy?''

Gettleman admitted to being frustrated that he was never granted any interview opportunities for general manager positions around the league despite his past success. He took a calculated gamble last year, asking Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch if he could take a step back from his role with the team to focus on his future.

Gettleman wanted to step away from the day-to-day grind of evaluating personnel to get a broader scope of the league, which he felt might help him land a GM position.

He said he wanted to move ``from success to significance.''

It paid off.

Now he said he feels like he's hit the lottery in Carolina.

Current Giants GM Jerry Reese said Gettleman's legacy in New York as a personnel evaluator is outstanding and called him a terrific hire for the Panthers.

``Wherever he goes, Super Bowls follow him,'' Reese said.

Richardson is hoping that success follows him to Carolina, a team that has the second-fewest wins in the league since 2010 with 15.

Richardson didn't address reporters after introducing Gettleman.

Rivera attended the press conference but the normally talkative coach only spoke only for about a minute to reporters afterward before being shuffled out of the room.

Rivera said Richardson was very forthright with him their meeting on Jan. 5, saying ``we had a great meeting and things turned out the way I was hoping.''

Rivera said didn't feel like he was on pins and needles waiting for a decision from Richardson. He felt confident the team's strong finish - the Panthers won four of their last five games - would help him keep his job.

``We had an opportunity to go through a lot of the stuff as to who we are and the opportunity we're going to have,'' Rivera said.

Gettleman did not have any input on the decision to retain Rivera. In fact, the two men never met until last week.

But Gettleman offered confidence in Rivera and the current Panthers scouting department heading into next season.

``I don't have a list of coaches in my back pocket,'' Gettleman said. ``I have no interest in that.''

Gettleman inherits a team that is $16 million over the NFL salary cap and certainly his first moves will be that of subtraction rather than addition.

He said he hasn't had a chance to fully evaluate the Panthers roster and wasn't ready to take questions about specific players.

However, he said he's excited that the Panthers have a franchise quarterback in place in Cam Newton.

As for his philosophy in terms of free agents, it's not unlike that of former general manager Marty Hurney. Gettleman said he plans to build through the draft saying ``you have to raise your own.''

He called venturing into free agency and throwing big money at marquee players ``dangerous.''

Gettleman said he believes the key to success in the NFL is making decisions ``unemotionally and objectively.''

``You have to put the proper value on the player and you get in trouble when you overpay,'' Gettleman said. ``The litmus test on the cap is when the ink is dry and you're not happy then you've made a mistake.''

Former Bills, Panthers and Colts GM Bill Polian called Gettleman a ``grinder,'' a term of respect for those in the business.

``He's a terrific evaluator and he's a hard worker,'' Polian said.

Reese said Gettleman has the skill set to be a great general manager and help lead the Panthers back to prominence.

But he added that only time will tell how successful he'll be in Carolina.

``This is a show-me business,'' Reese said. ``If he wins, he's a good GM. If he doesn't win people will say he's not a good GM. But that is what you sign up for and Dave knows that. There is no in between in this business.''


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John Harbaugh talks Lamar Jackson and everything else that impressed him in 23-17 win

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John Harbaugh talks Lamar Jackson and everything else that impressed him in 23-17 win

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The 'easy' part of the Ravens schedule is over. 

They faced a team widely projected to have the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft in week one and faced the team that had the No. 1 pick in 2019 in Week 2. 

The Ravens got out of those two games at 2-0. But now, the true test of the season will happen as the Ravens head to Kansas City to face the also undefeated Chiefs. 

Ahead of one of the biggest games in the young NFL season, the Ravens have reason to feel good about how they’ve started, but also know what’s around the corner.

Here are a few things that stood out about Harbaugh’s press conference:

Lamar’s Stellar Sunday

Lamar Jackson may not have thought he had a strong day. But the statistics say otherwise. 

He finished with 272 yards passing and two touchdowns. He added 120 yards on the ground, finishing as the Ravens' leading rusher as well. He was the first player in NFL history to post those numbers in the same game. 

The Ravens also went 7-of-14 on third down, something Harbaugh credited Jackson with having the ability to do in a variety of ways. 

“I thought he was just tremendous,” Harbaugh said. “Both getting to the sticks by throwing the ball, and then when they had people covered and the offensive line did a good job sustaining the protection, by getting out and running to the sticks. He did it both ways. That’s all you can ever ask for from a quarterback to do that. Keeps a lot of pressure on the defense.”

Through the first two weeks of the season, Jackson has showcased both his arm and his legs. Now, it’ll be a matter of which poison he forces defenses to drink.

Brynden Trawick’s injury

The Ravens got relatively good news about special teams standout Brynden Trawick’s injury.  

Trawick was injured on the Ravens first punt of the second half on a block in the back penalty, which was called, and never returned to the game. On the play, he grabbed his left arm immediately and left the field in a significant amount of pain. 

“Trawick’s got an elbow/arm issue, so we’ll see,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a matter of whether or not he can deal with it. It’s not going to be a long term deal. Whether he can go this week or not is how he can deal with it, how he can operate with it.”

Trawick, a safety, played in 13 snaps on special teams before his injury. 

The team recently promoted Maurice Canady to the 53-man roster in light of cornerback Jimmy Smith’s MCL sprain and will now be down two members of the secondary.

Preparing for a shootout

The Ravens lost in Kansas City last year in overtime 27-24. This year, Harbaugh said there won’t be much new to it all.

“Our guys have been in that stadium, they’ve been in that tiny little locker room before, they’ve been on that field, stayed in that hotel,” Harbaugh said. “All those things are pluses. We played a good game, but we didn’t win. That’s motivation also.”

He said they’ll watch last year’s game, but so much has changed since then it’s hard to take much stock in it.

Last season, Jackson threw for only 147 yards in the loss. This year, he’s eclipsed that total twice — by rather large margins. 

“Of course, we’ll watch last year’s game, but teams change so much,” Harbaugh said. “They watch the game too. It’s always a new game. It’s really so important in this league in the sense of, yeah, there’s carryover always, but really it’s week-to-week. It’s game-to-game. No two games are ever going to be the same.”

Ravens make a minor move

Just after Harbaugh’s press conference, the Ravens added offensive guard Parker Ehringer to their practice squad, a former fourth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016.

Ehringer spent 2018 in Dallas before heading to Jacksonville in the early part of the year. He was in 2019 training camp with the Cardinals.

A University of Cincinnati grad, Ehringer will fill the void of Greg Senat, who was waived last Saturday in place of Maurice Canady.

Marquise Brown’s potential meeting with the NFL

Marquise Brown hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing.

But he is, according to a report from Pro Football Talk, likely speak with the NFL about the lawsuit surrounding his cousin, Antonio Brown. 

Antonio is accused in a lawsuit filed this month of raping his former trainer, twice in 2017 and once in 2018. The accuser, Britney Taylor, reportedly was scheduled to speak with the NFL on Monday.

The lawsuit, according to Pro Football Talk, reported Marquise as the unnamed player that was in attendance on one of the nights that Antonio allegedly raped the alleged victim in May of 2018.

When asked about the report from PFT on Monday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he wasn’t concerned about Marquise’s reported place in the lawsuit.

“It’s not going to be a distraction,” Harbaugh said. “Believe me, it’s the last thing on my mind right now. Absolutely.”

Harbaugh said the team hadn’t spoken to Marquise about the lawsuit or potential NFL interview either.

“My focus is on football,” he said. “If it comes to that, if there’s something that needs to be done that way, we have people in the building that look at those things. Until it comes to that, it’s not an issue.”


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Nationals manager Dave Martinez remains in Washington for further testing

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Nationals manager Dave Martinez remains in Washington for further testing

Davey Martinez remained in Washington for further medical testing, the Nationals announced Monday. Bench coach Chip Hale will manage the team Monday night instead.

Martinez left Sunday’s series finale against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning because he was not feeling well. He went to a local hospital for further examinations upon the recommendation from Nationals medical staff. They said at the time they expected Martinez to join the team in St. Louis, though they did not specify when.

Hale, 54, joined the Nationals’ staff as bench coach when Martinez was hired ahead of the 2018 season. The Baltimore Orioles interviewed him this offseason for their open managerial position.

Hale has replaced Martinez following each of Martinez’s ejections this season.

Hale managed the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2015-16, where his teams went a combined 148-176. He’s also been the third base coach for the New York Mets, the bench coach for the Oakland A’s, and even a Triple-A manager. Prior, Hale was a part-time major leaguer for seven seasons.

The Nationals open a three-game series Monday night in St. Louis. They have a 1 ½-game lead for homefield in the Wild-Card Game. They are just 2 ½ games in front of Milwaukee for a postseason berth. Just 14 games remain in the season.