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Gettleman brings winning ways

So exactly how much experience and success have the Carolina Panthers added to their organization with the hiring of Dave Gettleman as general manager?

Gettleman has been a part of 13 NFL playoff teams. The Panthers have competed in the NFL for 18 seasons.

When the Panthers were selected as the NFL's 29th franchise on Oct. 26, 1993, Gettleman already had experienced a pair of Super Bowls while serving as the Buffalo Bills' scout at the BLESTO scouting combine, a forerunner to today's NFL Scouting Combine.

One year after the Panthers completed a remarkable run to the NFC Championship game as a second-year franchise, Gettleman celebrated the Denver Broncos' victory in Super Bowl XXXI as a Broncos scout.

Months later, Gettleman began a remarkable run of his own with the New York Giants. Serving as assistant pro personnel director for one season, then pro personnel director for 13 years and finally as senior pro personnel analyst in 2012, Gettleman accompanied the Giants to three Super Bowls, including two victories.

Shake the man's hand, as some of his new co-workers did Wednesday before he returned home to close that chapter of his football life, and you can't help but notice the Super Bowl rings that represent his success story.

At first glance, he likes the look of the potential path to success in Carolina.

"There are a lot of great things in place here," Gettleman said moments after his hiring was announced. "You've got great ownership, a great young quarterback, a solid young head coach and plenty of other things to go along with it.

"I know some of people in the personnel department that I'm excited to work with. It's a good nucleus to begin with."

Gettleman's first year with the Giants coincided with Ernie Accorsi's promotion to general manager. The Panthers hired Accorsi two months ago as a consultant for the team's general manager search, and Accorsi knew where to look – just like Panthers Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson did when he turned to Accorsi.

Richardson has long regarded the Giants organization, which has been playing football since 1925, as a model for a fledgling franchise like the Panthers. The Giants are the reigning Super Bowl champions, having claimed two of the last five Lombardi trophies.

The Panthers have had their share of success since joining the NFL. The Giants had to wait until the 21st Super Bowl to make their first appearance; the Panthers debuted in their ninth season. On two other occasions, the Panthers fell a single victory short of the Super Bowl.

To advance to football's ultimate stage, you have to knock on the door first, and that's an area where the Giants have excelled of late. While they were at least .500 in each of Gettleman's final eight seasons, the Panthers have endured four consecutive seasons below .500.

But since quarterback Cam Newton joined the franchise following a 2-14 record in 2010, the Panthers have crept closer.

"You take a look at the teams in the playoffs – you have to have a quarterback. If you don't have a quarterback, you don't have a chance," Gettleman said. "You look at the teams that have had to make changes over the last few years, by and large they probably don't have a quarterback. There's one here."

And now there's a general manager in place that knows what winning is all about.

Staff writer Max Henson contributed to this report.

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