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  • Beane worked under Gettleman during the GM's four years in Carolina, and while Gettleman's never faced anything like cancer before, Beane is confident in Gettleman's ability to overcome adversity.
By Jonathan Jones
June 05, 2018

On Tuesday the Giants released a statement saying that general manager Dave Gettleman has been diagnosed with lymphoma. And upon hearing the news, I reached out to Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane.

I’ve known Gettleman since early 2013 when he landed his first GM job with the Carolina Panthers. At the time I was a reporter with the Charlotte Observer and got to know Dave about as well as a reporter could know a football guy who wasn’t big on sharing information with reporters. But Beane knows him on a much deeper level. When Gettleman came to Charlotte, he could have cleaned house. However he chose to keep almost everyone, including a Panthers lifer in Beane, whom he elevated to assistant GM before Carolina’s 15–1 2015 season.

“I know he knows the Lord will watch after him. I have no doubt he’ll attack it head-on like he does everything else,” says Beane on Tuesday as his Bills are finishing up OTAs and heading into next week’s minicamp. “He faced adversity a year ago at this time. Some people might have thought that was the end of his NFL career and six months later he’s running the team that’s a natural fit for him.

“I think he’ll attack this the same way that he did that. He’ll keep his head up and follow doctors’ orders, and I have no doubt he’ll come on top just as he did when he landed the Giants GM job.”

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When mentioning adversity, Beane is referring to Gettleman’s surprise ouster last summer just days before the Panthers began training camp—nothing that can be compared to cancer, but adversity nonetheless. His bedside manner rubbed some people the wrong way in Charlotte—from Steve Smith’s unceremonious exit to the way he handled the contracts of favored veterans Thomas Davis and Greg Olsen—and he was shown the door. But Gettleman has declined to talk publicly about what went on in his final days in Carolina, and instead he kept working until he got his chance with a Giants franchise with which he spent 15 years.

In a statement, the 67-year-old Gettleman said the treatment outlook is positive, and he plans to work as much as the treatment will allow him.

“He didn’t make excuses,” Beane says of Gettleman dealing with previous adversity. “He just said Hey these are the cards and I can control what I can control. I’m sure he’ll do the same with this.

“The thing I know about Dave, most of the times were good in Carolina, but you always face adversity or tough decisions and he never ran from it, even when it was unpopular. I respect him for that and obviously have no doubt that he’ll come out on top.”

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