CHARLOTTE – There are a lot of things to know about new Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer.
(We intend to tell you many.)
But let's start here. According to former Panthers linebacker Dan Morgan, Fitterer is the kind of guy you can shoot off some fireworks with.
Morgan, now the Bills' player personnel director, first met Fitterer when he joined the Seahawks as a scouting intern in 2010. Fitterer was ascending the college side of the scouting department there, but was eager to help teach the new guy about the business.
"He was very helpful to me when I first got there," Morgan said. "All those guys were really good with me early on, but he took me under his wing when I was new and was willing to let me pick his brain about college scouting and what he did.
"He's good at a lot of things, but first and foremost, he's just a great guy."
Morgan and Fitterer became fast friends, with kids of comparable ages, allowing them to hang out together away from the office as well, and do the kind of things middle-aged dads do.
"He's the guy who's going to light the grill. He's the guy who's going to build a fire on the weekends," Morgan said. "He's kind of a Mr. Do-It-All, really. Just a fun guy to be around."
Fitterer's do-it-all nature shows up in the work environment as well.
He came up as a college scout, but the Seahawks gave him more and more responsibility over the years. His last position with them was what amounted to a co-assistant GM arrangement with Trent Kirchner (a former Panthers scout), whose background was on the pro side. Seahawks GM John Schneider put them in complementary roles, asking them to get familiar with the entire operation, and Morgan saw Fitterer grow in confidence over the years.
"I think he's going to be a great leader for the Panthers because of the way he works with people," Morgan said. "He knows how to communicate, how to delegate authority, and how to treat people with respect through the organization.
"He's just a guy who doesn't ever get too high or too low, and he's able to stay where you need a GM to be. He's able to think things through, and stay steady through it all."
The professional respect is clear, but it's hard for Morgan to draw the line between his friend and his former co-worker.
Fitterer's a guy who helped teach him the scouting business, but he's also the guy he travels with in the offseason, building the kind of relationship that develops as you pack the cars and hit the road together.
Just before he moved to Buffalo in 2018, Morgan and his family went to the Oregon coast with Fitterer and his family, just a couple of dads on vacation with the wives and kids, shooting off Fourth of July fireworks and having a great time.
"He's just a cool dude," Morgan said. "You guys are going to love him. And, he's going to do a great job."