Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane said Friday afternoon that it is “bittersweet” watching his top lieutenant, Joe Schoen, leave the Bills to become general manager of the New York Giants. Schoen was named to that post earlier on Friday.
“He’s a great friend, his family is a great friend of my family. So those are the hard parts,” Beane said. “I’m excited for him to get his chance his opportunity to prove that he can do it. I mean, that’s why I left Carolina. I wanted to prove that I can sit in this seat and deal with all the, the nuances of the job and have success. And he’s been a great part of what we have here, but he wants to put his stamp on it.”
Schoen is already at work, reportedly lining up interviews with Bills’ coordinators Brian Daboll and Leslie Frazier for the Giants’ head coaching vacancy.
“He won’t do everything the way I do it. But I’m sure there’s things that he learned from me, there’s mistakes I’ve made that he’s seen that and he’s probably going, man I’m not going to do that when I get into the seat,” Beane said. “And so, personally, I’m really thrilled for him and his family, and it is full circle.
“I remember the first day he showed up at training camp. You know in 2000 in Carolina with us, he was making coffee at 5:30 in the morning for the special teams coach. he was catching long field goals that went into the woods. Whatever you asked him he didn’t mind doing it and it never changed to this moment when he’s got this job. So, really thrilled for him.”
Beane offered this assessment of what the Bills are losing and the Giants are gaining:
“He’s a great evaluator, he’s a great communicator. He’s a really good leader. He can talk to the owner, he can talk to anybody, sponsor, fans, whoever,” Beane said. “He just knows how to relate. He’s very personable, family guy, and I could go on and on, but you know, we’ll miss him, you don’t replace people like that right away.”
Beane said he thinks the 42-year-old Schoen is ready for the promotion.
“Joe is a very intelligent person. He’s a great listener, you know, he’s not going to walk into those offices (with the Giants) and act like he’s got all the answers whether he’s talking to scouts, whether he’s talking to the PR department, the training room. It’s an all-encompassing job. But you know, I let Joe be involved in everything,” Beane said. “Joe has dealt with agents. He’s recruited players here. When it comes down to after the draft or a time when in free agency, when it’s not about the money anymore, it’s just about the opportunity and he understands all that stuff. Got great relationships with other GM’s, assistant GMs, personnel, directors, coaches around the league. Those are all the reasons. I think he’s going to be very successful when he gets himself planted there in New York.”
Beane said “dependable” is the best word to use to describe Schoen.
“He’s never going to let you down. In this job, you can’t be everywhere. I can’t be with the scouts and also with the coaches or also down in the training room and he was another set of eyes and ears and he’s just, I know it’s going to be done the right way,” Beane said. “I didn’t have to go back behind him, and this goes back to when he was working for me in Carolina, and I know if you talked to Bill Parcells he’s going to say something similar. Just, there’s so many adjectives that I can describe. Joe. Dependable is one. He’ll never let you down.”
Beane said the one similarity he knows that exists between where he and Schoen started with the Bills in 2017 and where the Giants are now revolves around the salary cap.
“You know, the one thing I would say that I’m aware of just in my brief conversation with him after his first interview with the Giants was the salary cap situation know, our salary cap was, was not a very healthy situation when we got here and I know it looks like that’s the case for the Giants,” Beane said. “Joe was was involved, you know, in many of the things many of the meetings that we had as far as how we’re going to fix this cap. And if he again, if he wasn’t in some of the meetings maybe I had with me, Sean and ownership I definitely shared with him why we’re going to plan to move on from a player, re-sign a play or whatever it is. And so he’ll do a really good job. He knows his strengths and weaknesses and he’ll work with, you know, the staff there to develop a plan for how they’re going to move in and fix the cap going forward.”
Beane lauded the work that Schoen did to put himself in position to sit in one of the 32 GM chairs in the NFL.
“Joe started as a grunt scout, he was an intern for me, but is a football ops intern and then became a scouting assistant role and then became an area Scout and he’s one of those guys that he was a quick riser and he as because people trusted, they saw … he started out going to small schools you probably never heard of like Gardner-Webb and Wingate, App. State wasn’t App State then, just schools like that. But even though he was grading a lot of players that were probably never going to really make it to this level, you could tell that he had what it takes, and he was doing the work,” Beane said. “He really saddled up with, with guys in this business who had had success, who told him the right way. He didn’t just learn from one person and that’s what he was so excited about, you know, going to Miami, he’d been around a lot of things in Carolina, but he wanted to see us a fresh way. It was obviously a promotion for him, but Coach Parcells was taking over and what a great opportunity to learn from him and and see a different way to look at players and construct a roster and build a team.
“Joe is a worker ... it’s about doing the work and the New York Giants will never have to worry that Joe didn’t invest the right time in evaluating player, college or pro.”