But McDermott, the former Panthers defensive coordinator, and Beane, the former Panthers assistant general manager, can relate to each other on a deeper level: They both turned down more lucrative job offers in other fields to begin their careers in football.
McDermott majored in finance at William & Mary, where he played safety from 1993 through 1997. In the fall of his senior year, McDermott accepted a job at PricewatershouseCoopers, a well-known international accounting and financial advisory firm.
McDermott's plans changed in the spring of 1998, when longtime William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock offered him a spot on the Tribe's football staff.
"I said, 'I'd like to give it a try,'" McDermott said. "So that spring, while all my buddies are going through their senior year, drinking and partying and having fun like seniors do, I was on my way to spring practice. I helped with the defensive backs, and you guys know the rest of the résumé."
After he spent the 1998 season as a graduate assistant at William & Mary, McDermott landed a job in the Philadelphia Eagles' scouting department in 1999. He soon latched onto then-coach Andy Reid, who promoted him up the coaching ladder until he became defensive coordinator in 2009.
McDermott's decision to pursue a career as a football coach did not come without sacrifice.
"I slept in my office in Philadelphia three and four nights a week and had a young family and wasn't holding up my end of the bargain as a husband, as a father," he said.
Beane's path to becoming an NFL general manager began during his college years at North Carolina-Wilmington in the mid-1990s. He initially enrolled as an English major under a North Carolina teaching fellow scholarship. He had to pay back part of that scholarship after he decided as a sophomore that he wanted to work in football and changed his major to communication studies.
As his college days came to an end, Beane found himself at another crossroads: He was offered a full-time job as a writer for Sports Business Journal for $30,000 a year, but he had completed a public relations internship with the Panthers and had interviewed for a season-long internship in Carolina's football operations department.
"I just kept holding [Sports Business Journal] off and trying to speed it up with Carolina and finally got it," he said. "So I turned down a $30,000 a year job for minimum wage, no benefits. And my wife didn't kick me out for that, so that was pretty good."