Brandon Beane spent his entire NFL career, 19 seasons worth, in Carolina.
Terry Pegula officially introduced Beane as the Bills 13th general manager Friday morning. It wasn’t easy to lure Beane away.
“When you’ve been with an organization for 19 years, something has to blow you away to get you to leave,” Beane said.
That something was the Pegulas and their commitment to give Beane and head coach Sean McDermott every resource to build a winning football team.
“This opportunity was too good to pass up,” Beane said.
Despite McDermott’s commitment to “One Voice”, Beane made it clear managing the Bills would be a multi-voice endeavor.
The new buzz word in Orchard Park is “collaborative”.
“It’s not going to be my team. It’s not going to be Sean’s team. It’s going to be collaborative effort,” Beane said. “I think that’s what wins.”
“Brandon and I are aligned on a lot of what’s important in building a team and an organization,” McDermott said. “Just like anything, when there’s familiarity on the other side, it makes it a little more comfortable.”
Pegula did say that Beane would have control of the 53-man roster, but Beane quickly noted that all decisions would be made in tandem with McDermott.
Beane’s “all around ability” is what drew Pegula. In Carolina, Beane did nearly every job and worked in every department. As Pegula noted, he’s done everything a GM would do but hold the title.
McDermott and Beane had a good relationship the last six seasons with the Panthers. They used to go over the defensive depth chart discussing personnel ideas.
“Now, we’ll be talking about the whole team,” Beane said.
Beane told a story about how McDermott once hosted Beane’s oldest son for an introductory wrestling clinic. McDermott was a legendary wrestler in high school. He has what Beane described as an almost “WWF setup” in his home. Beane’s son left hooked on the sport.
“I trust Sean and I think Sean trusts me,” Beane said. “I think you’re going to see a heck of a partnership.”
“In terms of mutual respect. I think that’s key in any relationship. I certainly came up one way, he came up in a similar fashion through this business,” McDermott said. “He’s been trained the right way, he’s earned everything he’s gotten and those are qualities, to me, that are very attractive.”
This closes an unusually busy week for the Pegulas. They hired and introduced two GMs in one week. Jason Botterill was unveiled as Sabres GM on Thursday.
“We knew we had to do it. We rose to the challenge. The two we chose we think are capable leaders,” Pegula said. “This is what you buy into when you’re in the NFL and the NHL. It’s part of life now.”
Another part of life running sports in Buffalo is the Bills’ 17 year playoff drought. Beane didn’t shy away from it, but he preferred to look forward.
“How exciting is it going to be when we finally get this turned around and make the playoffs,” Beane said.
After 19 years in Carolina, one day in Buffalo won’t scrub the optimism from the Bills new man in charge.