A closer look at Panthers' 6 GM candidates

A look at 6 who will interview this week for Carolina’s opening

jperson@charlotteobserver.comJanuary 8, 2013 

— After meeting with and deciding to retain coach Ron Rivera on Saturday, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson now begins the process of finding a general manager in earnest.

The Panthers had a head-start on the other six teams looking for a general manager after firing Marty Hurney in October. A few weeks later, Richardson hired former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi to consult on the search.

Accorsi has consulted on several previous searches, assisting Atlanta when the Falcons hired Thomas Dimitroff in 2008. Since the arrival of Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith, the Falcons have gone 56-24 and made the playoffs in four of five seasons.

The Panthers are expected to interview six candidates this week, beginning Tuesday with Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross. He is the first of two Giants executives scheduled to visit the Panthers.

A look at each of the six finalists (listed in alphabetical order):

Brandon Beane

Age: 36

Current position: Panthers interim general manager.

Former NFL roles: Panthers director of football operations (2008-12), Panthers football operations manager (2002-07), Panthers football operations assistant (1999-2001).

Comment: Beane was former general manager Marty Hurney’s top aide for five years, overseeing the equipment, video and team operations, and coordinating training camp and team travel. He joined the Panthers in 1999 with a degree from UNC Wilmington. Though he doesn’t have the scouting backgrounds of the other candidates, Beane has impressed Rivera with his organization and leadership skills.

Lake Dawson

Age: 41

Current position: Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel.

Former NFL roles: Titans vice president of football operations (2011), Titans pro scouting director (2007-10), Seattle assistant director of pro personnel (2005-06), Seattle pro personnel assistant (2001-04).

Comment: Dawson interviewed for the St. Louis Rams’ general manager vacancy last year before Les Snead was hired. He has been a pro scout throughout his career, and was with Seattle in 2005 when the Seahawks beat Carolina to advance to the Super Bowl. Dawson is a former Notre Dame wideout who played six NFL seasons.

Dave Gettleman

Age: 62

Current position: New York Giants senior pro personnel analyst.

Former NFL roles: Giants pro personnel director (1999-2011), Broncos scout (1994-98), regional scout for BLESTO scouting service (1992-93), Bills area scout (1987-92).

Comment: Gettleman has 25 years of NFL experience, by far the most among the Panthers’ finalists. He worked closely in New York with Accorsi. Gettleman has been a part of six Super Bowl teams, including three that won rings – the 2007 and ’11 Giants and the 1997 Broncos.

George Paton

Age: 43

Current position: Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager.

Former NFL roles: Miami pro personnel director 2001-06, Chicago pro personnel director (2000), Chicago college and pro scout (1997-99).

Comment: The Vikings gave Paton (pronounced PAY-ton) a promotion last year when it appeared he was going to land the Rams’ general manager job. He is close with Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, with the two also having worked together in Chicago and Miami. Paton, a defensive back at UCLA, played professionally in Italy and Austria.

Jim Popp

Age: 48

Current position: Montreal Alouettes vice president, general manager, director of football operations and player personnel.

Former NFL roles: None.

Comment: Popp has carved out a long and successful CFL career. Over the past 19 years, all of his teams have made the playoffs, with four winning Grey Cup titles. Popp had college coaching stops at Michigan State, North Carolina and The Citadel, and was an assistant for the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks of the World League under Roman Gabriel in 1991. He and his family live in Mooresville.

Marc Ross

Age: 39

Current position: New York Giants director of college scouting.

Former NFL roles: Buffalo Bills national college scout (2004-07), Eagles college scouting director (2000-03), Eagles eastern regional scout (1997-2000).

Comment: Ross is one of the hottest general manager candidates, interviewing with four of the seven teams that have openings. He has already talked to San Diego, Jacksonville and the Jets. He was in Philadelphia when Rivera was an Eagles assistant. Ross has a good reputation as a talent evaluator, running the drafts that brought Kenny Phillips, Hakeem Nicks and Jason Pierre-Paul to the Giants.

Person: 704-358-5123

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