Panthers, Dave Gettleman switch scouting services ahead of NFL draft

jperson@charlotteobserver.comFebruary 3, 2014 

Panthers Football

Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman, right, smiles as he responds to a reporter's question during an NFL football news conference at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Looking on at left is Panthers head coach Ron Rivera.

JEFF SINER — AP

Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman is getting back to his scouting roots.

The Panthers have switched from National Scouting to BLESTO, the smaller of the two NFL-affiliated scouting services that act as co-ops in pooling scouting information in the months leading to the draft.

Gettleman was Buffalo’s BLESTO scout from 1988-92, and later served as a regional scout for BLESTO.

Gettleman said the move from National, the group that puts on the scouting combine each year, to BLESTO was a natural one for him.

“Their philosophy was the way I was raised,” Gettleman said Monday. “Height, weight, speed are important, but not the end-all, be-all. It truly was about evaluating the guy as a potential prospect and player.”

BLESTO was founded in the 1960s and is an acronym for “Bears, Lions, Eagles and Steelers Talent Organization.” The Bears and Eagles have since left BLESTO, which now is comprised of eight teams: Carolina, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Washington, Detroit, Minnesota and the New York Giants.

A handful of teams work independently – including New England, Baltimore and Atlanta – while the rest belong to National.

Gettleman believes BLESTO does a good job evaluating players based on their on-field performances, or “between the lines,” as Gettleman put it.

“It’s really film-based,” he said. “It’s evaluation-based.”

The Panthers operated independently their first three seasons, and had been with National Scouting since 1998.

Panthers scouting assistant Eli Montague moved to Denver as part of the Panthers’ shift to BLESTO, which is run by longtime NFL scout and front office executive Tom Modrak.

Said Gettleman: “It’s really nice to have an experienced veteran scout giving you an overview of the top players.”

Person: 704-358-5123; Twitter: @josephperson

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