The results ultimately will determine his success or failure, but I'll say this much about Brandon Beane: He came across as more competent and professional in 30 minutes Friday than anybody else has in recent memory. You would have to reach back the days under late GM John Butler for normalcy.
Beane presented himself as someone who has been around every facet of running an organization when he was introduced to the media Friday. He talked about the trust he had in Sean McDermott and the importance of keeping an open mind or, as he said, "eyes wide open with everybody."
"We built a good relationship in Carolina," Beane said. "I trust Sean, and Sean trusts me. I think we're going to make a heck of a partnership."
It's a welcome change after years of dysfunction before and after Terry and Kim Pegula purchased the Bills. Buffalo needed someone from the outside who could evaluate everything from top to bottom. It sounds like he'll have the authority needed to make the decisions.
Now it's up to him and McDermott to build from their relationship with the Carolina Panthers and make the right ones. At least the two men at the top of the Bills' football department have the same agenda. Neither comes off as egotistical or selfish or worried about protecting their jobs.
It is, if nothing else, a start.
Beane and McDermott will be given time to build the organization from the bottom, as he mentioned, but we all know it starts at the top. Both are new in their positions. There will be growing pains. Everything is peachy for now because they haven't made a mess of the draft of lost a game.
Still, for the first time in a long time, there was a sense the Bills have people in place who can lead them in the right direction. It's was another step removed from the clown show starring Rex Ryan, whose standup routine quickly grew old, and Whaley, who had a penchant for alienating people around him.
Beane struck the right chords Friday, which was expected. He talked about how he empathized with Bills fans who have agonized over missing the playoffs for 17 straight seasons. He didn't make any bold promises the way Rex did. He sounded like someone understood his role in the organization, unlike Whaley. He was confident and well-spoken.
Overall, it has been an interesting week for the Bills and Sabres. Beane was hired Tuesday evening. Jason Botterill was introduced Thursday as the general manager of the Sabres. Botterill is another intelligent guy and longtime understudy before landing the big job. He also carried himself like a pro.
The announcements this week were a step toward stability, which had been lacking in both organizations for years. Neither team knew what it was going or where it was headed. It's not a good sign when ownership is calling news conferences every other day to announce people getting fired and hired.
Over the past month, Terry Pegula has gone from mostly invisible to the brink of overexposure. He's not comfortable in the public eye. He certainly doesn't want to explain away all the problems his organizations have had, especially when many of them start with his dubious decisions.
Now that he has people he trusts in place, he can get back to the business of getting out of the way and allowing the people he hired to do their jobs. It's the best part of owning a professional franchise or, in this case, two franchises. If they ever start winning on a regular basis, he'll be able to enjoy them.