Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Chicken Little
123 days since he last answered questions from the media, Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman opened his postseason press conference with a statement.
“I’m not here to point fingers. Moving forward, it’s about finding solutions,” he said, reading off a white sheet of paper.
“We have a solid nucleus of veteran players and we have talented young guys that had a baptism by fire. The Carolina Panthers are not going away. We will get this corrected.”
Later, invoking the story of Chicken Little, he said:
“The sky’s not falling here. We’re going to make a correction, we’re going to get it fixed and we’re going to get back in the race.”
As for how the Panthers are going to get back in the race, Gettleman avoided sharing specifics. He spent much of the 36 minutes talking in generalities, telling stories and in some respects, filibustering.
Gettleman was mum on whatever plans he may have, saying most evaluations — of both players and staff — will be done in the next two weeks.
But he assured, “I always have a sense of urgency,” when asked if he believes the Panthers’ window is “forever,” like he said in June.
“The worst thing you can do is panic. That’s the absolute worst thing you can do because panicking will force you into a bad decision. Cam’s 28, he’s not 37,” Gettleman said, referring to his quarterback, who turns 28 in May.
“Time after time after time, what I’ve learned is that when teams panic and make a bad decision, the ripple effect can be a killer. That’s why I don’t believe in windows.”
Fans who want — and deserve — answers for what went wrong and what will be done to make things right will be largely disappointed about what they got from Gettleman. But as he said in his opening statement, he wasn’t going to point fingers.
He did, at least, point one back to himself.
“The bottom line is I’ve got to get better,” Gettleman said. “I’m accountable for this. I’m not happy, and I’m going to get this right.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t sit my big cheeks at my desk and say, “Have I given Ron (Rivera) enough players? Have I given the coaching staff enough players?”
So did you?
“Healthy? Yes,” he replied.
“It’s the classic when it rains it pours, but we’re not going to make excuses. We’re going to be accountable for what happened and we’re going to get this fixed.”