Bills GM Brandon Beane endorses Giants hiring Joe Schoen: 'You don't replace people like that right away'

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Brandon Beane Josh Allen cropped 7/28/21
Brandon Beane Josh Allen cropped 7/28/21

Bills GM Brandon Beane lost his right-hand man Friday when the Giants hired Buffalo assistant GM Joe Schoen to replace Dave Gettleman as the new GM, but he approved the move with a glowing review.

"Joe and I have worked together for a long time and ... really did a good job of just being my right-hand guy to help me where I couldn't be," Beane said. "... We had to put up a full scouting staff, and Joe did a great job with that, and then we had to start on this roster.

"And so, 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. He just knows how to relate. He's very personable, family guy. I could go on and on. We'll miss him. You don't replace people like that right away. We have a good staff and people will try to fill his role, but he'll definitely be missed."

Schoen went to Buffalo with Beane in May 2017, hitting the ground running and turning the Bills back into a winning franchise after ending a 17-year postseason drought.

"Well, I think Joe has seen how (Bills head coach) Sean (McDermott) and I work here," Beane said. "Neither of Sean or I walk through the building like we've got all the answers or it's my way or Sean's way. It's collaborative. We listen to our coaches. We listen to our doctors, our trainers, our scouts. Whatever the decision needs to be made, we listen and then we try to make an informed decision.

"Joe will have to ultimately make some decisions, whether it's a draft pick or that final decision on paying a player on their team or free agent somewhere else. But he's going to value everyone's input. He appreciates when people put the work in and hearing their voice. He'll be very collaborative through the whole draft process and very inclusive, and I think that staff there will see real quickly what his skillset is -- and I think they'll follow along right away, once he kind of lays out the vision."

With Schoen's help, Beane dug the Bills out of a salary-cap hole and scored Buffalo a big win in the 2018 NFL Draft, selecting former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen at No. 7 overall.

"Like every player, Joe was very involved," Beane said of Allen, who has blossomed into a franchise quarterback for the Bills. "He and I both saw Josh live, as we did with some of the other quarterbacks that fall, fall of '17. And then the next time we saw these guys at the Senior Bowl, we saw Josh there. We saw (Oklahoma's) Baker (Mayfield), (Oklahoma State's) Mason Rudolph, several others. And Joe was there every step of the way. We did private visits with these guys. We brought some of 'em here when you could do the 30 visits. That's not happening right now with the COVID world we're in, but Joe was there every step of the way.

"We had a meeting one time with our owners that went about 17 hours, and Joe was right in there. Sean, (Bills offensive coordinator) Brian Daboll and (myself) went through all these guys again -- over and over -- and watched 'em. And again, Joe saw the whole process. He actually coordinated our each visit.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott (right) with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll during training camp.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott (right) with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll during training camp.

"When we went to Laremie (Wyoming), he coordinated with Josh and his agent -- where were we going to meet Josh, where were we going to go to dinner, what's expected, who's going to be there. He kind of handled all those things and, again, was a big part of the process. He did all the evaluation. He gave his honest opinion on how he saw each quarterback. And again, his opinion was very valued. And then, ultimately, I had to make the decision."

The Giants are in a similar mess from the Gettleman era (2017-21), but Schoen enters after playing a key role in Buffalo's accelerated rebuild.

"I don't know a lot -- 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," Beane said. "Our salary cap was not in a very healthy situation when we got here, and I know it looks like that's the case for the Giants. I haven't studied the roster, where they're at. They didn't just draft a quarterback. Daniel Jones has been drafted a few years ago. It was kind of a different point for us, at that standpoint.

"But Joe was involved in many of the things, many of the meetings we had, as far as how we were going to fix this cap. And if he wasn't in some of the meetings 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 player, whatever it is. So he'll do a really good job. He knows his strengths and weaknesses, and he'll work with the staff there to develop a plan to how they're going to move and fix the cap going forward."

Schoen's first big decision is nailing the Giants' head-coaching search, which could include one of two top Bills assistants in coordinators Daboll and Leslie Frazier (defensive).

"I think Brian is going to do a great job when he gets his chance as a head coach and Leslie as well," Beane said. "Leslie's, obviously, done it before and had great conversations with him about what he learned and I know he will -- I'd be surprised if they didn't get a lot of looks, they've already had some and I'm hoping they both get their chance. They deserve it."