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October 22, 2012

Hurney: Didn't have the answers

When he spoke with Jerry Richardson on Monday morning, Marty Hurney said the Panthers owner asked him two simple questions.

Why are the Panthers 1-5 and how were they going to get better?

And honestly, I had a hard time answering that question,” Hurney said.

Richardson informed Hurney he was firing him a short time later, ending a 10-year tenure as general manager that included the team's only Super Bowl appearance but an inability to build a consistent winner.

The Panthers never had consecutive winning seasons under Hurney, a former sportswriter who joined the organization in 1998 and was promoted to GM in 2002.

Hurney spoke highly of Richardson, saying there is no one in the organization he was closer with than Richardson. But Hurney said this was not a mutual parting.

It's simple. We're 1-5, we're 1-3 at home. We laid an egg against the Giants on national TV,” Hurney said on a conference call with reporters. “It can't continue to go this way.”

The Panthers have the worst record in the NFC. Their 9-29 mark since the start of the 2010 season is also the worst in the league over that span.

Hurney said an atmosphere of losing had pervaded the locker room.

I think we someone down there to step up and take hold ... step up and say enough is enough,” he said.

He called locker room leadership the “most underrated part of the league because the talent level is so even,” and said the Panthers have players capable of providing it.

Hurney was asked whether second-year quarterback Cam Newton was among those who needed to display more leadership. He responded by saying he was not singling out a particular player.

The Panthers have one of the bigger payrolls in the league, but it has not resulted in wins.

The Panthers went on a spending spree in the days after the lockout ended in 2011. The splurge began with the six-year, $76 million deal they gave to defensive end Charles Johnson a year after losing Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers to Chicago in free agency.

Hurney re-signed running back DeAngelo Williams to a $43 million extension last year, and retained his backfield mate Jonathan Stewart this year with a $36.5 million extension. The Panthers committed $43.5 million to the two backs, who have combined for 319 rushing yards this season while averaging fewer than nine carries apiece.

Hurney declined to discuss how Ron Rivera's staff was using the two backs.

"I think the big picture is more significant,” he said. “And that is winning is contagious, and losing is contagious.”

Hurney said the Super Bowl run in 2003 was memorable, but not the game itself. The Panthers lost to New England 32-29 in Houston.

The Super Bowl is not the highlight because we lost," said Hurney. “Getting to the Super Bowl and not winning it was not special."

Hurney, 56, said he still has faith in his ability but did not want to discuss possible future plans, saying the day was too emotional.

 --Joe Person

Posted by Observer Sports on October 22, 2012 at 03:53 PM | Permalink

Comments

Too many years of inconsistancy. Two special teamers playing free saftey, No defensive line, no replacement for Steve Smith. We are the worst team in the league right now with one of the highest payrolls. Nothing to show for it

I WAISTED MY TIME AND MY MONEY THIS WEEKEND TRYING TO OUT SHOUT THESE COWGIRLS!!

Fire this coaching staff and get John Gruden in here. This offense needs new life! TRASH THE OPTION FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!

Posted by: Chuck | Oct 22, 2012 4:45:39 PM

QUESTION

What ever happened to the times when teams new we were going to run and they just couldn't do anything about it (ie NY Giants 2008).

To me now 3rd and 1 should be 3rd and 15. Why cant we get a yard or two when we need it???

Posted by: Chuck | Oct 22, 2012 4:54:32 PM

Can this guy not give an interview without talking about the 2003 SB? You would think he split the atom the way he brings it up to divert from his miserable FAILURES as a GM. What he forgets is that the majority of the 2003 team was built by the prior regime, and that he took that team and ran it into the ground.

Now we have a bloated payroll and still havent filled major need positions because of his drafting philosophy, or lack thereof. Good riddance.

Posted by: manu4t | Oct 22, 2012 5:07:45 PM

Just looking at NFL network. Cam just called out Chud on the play calling. said that "play calling needs to be more balanced". He also said that the lack of balance on the play calling has had an effect on the passing game!!!!

Posted by: Chuck | Oct 22, 2012 5:37:29 PM

I just want a team that can win. Not every game, just a team that knows how to win more than 1 or 2 in a season. Please help us somebody. Please we're begging.

Posted by: slappy | Oct 22, 2012 5:39:20 PM

I'm so embarrassed to wear my Panthers jacket right now. This whole mess is ruining my wardrobe. As mad max from JB&B would say "stop ruining my life"......
Instead of "just win baby" to quote the late Al Davis, we Panther fans might as well just use "just win one baby".

Posted by: queasy | Oct 22, 2012 5:51:55 PM

Rivera can't get the win, he doesn't know how. The players know that by now. I don't believe in his talk any more. Rivera is old school in this new style league. To see him on the sideline makes me sulk.

I don't think Chud is the problem. He has created some bold plays. Chud seems like he is more adaptable to change where RR is not.the plays speak for the person who created it. Does Chud call all the plays?

Posted by: zeke | Oct 22, 2012 6:19:38 PM

Whow I just don't believe you called Panther Fans, Hurney gets responsability yes, but the way you complain makes me sick, everybody is responsable for the 1-5 record, you just can pinpoint one person, or think that just bringing another coach everything will solve itself. We just have to solve to close games, one play or two and this season is a different story. But the way you folks put it out it seams that we have been in a blowout every single game. Stop complaining, start acting.

Posted by: Edwin | Oct 22, 2012 6:23:01 PM

yes queasy. Chud calls all of the plays. He is also responsible for the offensive playbook. He isn't adaptable to change. The option doesn't work. It takes too much time to develop. The long passes down the field on every play doesn't work. It takes too much time to develop. All a defense has to do is drop 4 in zone coverage and let everyone else pin their ears back. Everyone has figured him out. Now he hasn't a clue what to do about it because he is a moron.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 22, 2012 6:43:13 PM

I think the sports media here in charlotte suck more than the teams. The problems are the same but its like you guys are scared to cover it. Thats why the fan base is so weak.

Posted by: James JOnes | Oct 22, 2012 6:45:15 PM

Edwin, learn how to spell and use grammar before you call out other people on a blog. It gives your argument no credibility. It also makes you look stupid. The Panthers are 1-4. Fans deserve better than that. It's someone's fault. All we are asking for is some sort of change and progression. I believe we deserve that.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 22, 2012 6:48:42 PM

hmmm was Nolan Nawrocki right on his draft assessment of Cam Newton? Did this lead to Hurney's firing?

Posted by: TheAvenger | Oct 22, 2012 7:15:53 PM

Easy answer. Team needs speed and depth in the offensive line.

Posted by: Par404 | Oct 22, 2012 7:30:29 PM

Rob Chudzinski is most definitely the problem. We have two 1,000 yard running backs. We haven't used them enough, and haven't used them properly. We should be using more power run plays, and I-form plays with Tolbert blocking. The running backs are running from the shotgun or read-option most of the time. It's not working, and it’s setting us up for failure. The power run game will open up the pass game, and wear out the opposing defense. It will take pressure off of Cam, the O-line, the defense, and pretty much the whole team. We typically win with that formula. It’s harder to pass block then run block (Especially with a mediocre O-line). Chud did this same B.S. last year. We started winning once we established the run again. Cam shouldn’t be our leading rusher. Cam is good and can be great one day if he works on his fundamentals and accuracy, but he is not elite yet. Making him pass all over the field the whole game is ridiculous. If Cam continues to be our leading rusher he’s going to eventually get hurt. Especially when the pass blocking isn’t there, and his accuracy isn’t always a 100%. We should have been kicking butt and taking names this season, but instead Chud has shot this offense in the foot. It’s not the defense’s fault. Our defense isn’t #1, but they are playing good enough to win. Chudzinski got Hurney canned today!

Posted by: PanthersFan | Oct 22, 2012 7:41:28 PM

Rob Chudzinski is most definitely the problem. We have two 1,000 yard running backs. We haven't used them enough, and haven't used them properly. We should be using more power run plays, and I-form plays with Tolbert blocking. The running backs are running from the shotgun or read-option most of the time. It's not working, and it’s setting us up for failure. The power run game will open up the pass game, and wear out the opposing defense. It will take pressure off of Cam, the O-line, the defense, and pretty much the whole team. We typically win with that formula. It’s harder to pass block then run block (Especially with a mediocre O-line). Chud did this same B.S. last year. We started winning once we established the run again. Cam shouldn’t be our leading rusher. Cam is good and can be great one day if he works on his fundamentals and accuracy, but he is not elite yet. Making him pass all over the field the whole game is ridiculous. Especially when the pass blocking isn’t there, and his accuracy isn’t always a 100%. If Cam continues to be our leading rusher he’s going to eventually get hurt. We should have been kicking butt and taking names this season, but instead Chud has shot this offense in the foot. It’s not the defense’s fault. Our defense isn’t #1, but they are playing good enough to win. Chudzinski got Hurney canned today!

Posted by: PanthersFan | Oct 22, 2012 7:44:25 PM

The power run game would open up play action, trick plays, read option, and every other so called "Chud the Mad Scientist Play".

Posted by: PanthersFan | Oct 22, 2012 7:46:29 PM

Biggest needs are on offense, defense, and special teams. Changes in coaching staff should add some value as well. Valued performers in an organization should improve as they progress in their job. This is not happening here. All phases have regressed. Continue "cleaning house" I say. Team is already bottom feeder, so what the heck.

Posted by: NR736 | Oct 22, 2012 7:48:30 PM

Why would we clean house when we have a good young team that our coaches aren't using properly? The team is young and only going to get better through the draft, hopefully.

Posted by: PanthersFan | Oct 22, 2012 7:53:19 PM

There is no fan base in Charlotte. Have the crowd showed up Sunday in Cowboy gear. Same as when the Giants come to town. Richardson should move the team to a better market. One that fans won't show up midway through the 1st quarter and leave midway through the 3rd to "beat the traffic". Then get on FNZ the next day and complain about how bad everything is. D-Will was right, all the Fantasy GMs need to put down the Madden 2004, get off the couch and SUPPORT the team like real fans instead of the fair weather, bandwagon babies that are posting all this trash.

Posted by: latdog43 | Oct 22, 2012 8:46:07 PM

The coaches have been put on notice. They better show emotion and start coaching of they're gone too. The payroll on this team is way too high for this level of performance. Total failure in all phases of the game by a team with some talent. The ultimate downfall has been consistent weak drafts that Hurney over reached for players and they never worked out. The QB Cam needs to learn how to be a leader quickly and not a pouter. so far he's showing he can't lead by example and I am not seeing him putting in the effort to learn from his coach on the side line during games and how to make adjustments and improvements like the great ones do.

Posted by: BG | Oct 22, 2012 8:51:55 PM

Mr Richardson has a very short memory, he is the one the decimated the team prior to the potential strike to ensure that he and the stockholders would not have to pay for a sizable portion of the team salaries while the strike was in progress. As you remember, we had the worst record in the league that year and I sold my PSL the following year! Given that, how can expect one to rebuild an effective team in one year after Mr. Richardson destroyed the team to save money. In addition, Mr. Richardson's desire to head the NFL Player Pay negotiations has left players with a bad taste in their mouth. The players most probably would say that Mr. Richardson has a disdain for high player salaries as well as referee salaries. Mr Richardson is now left to deal with the consequences of his actions. Firing his General Manager is a good way to cover for his abysmal leadership!!

What you sow, so shall you reap!

Posted by: Kenneth Morris | Oct 22, 2012 9:37:26 PM

Hurney could not draft a little league team, much less a NFL team. We do not have the talent because of his incompetence. Look at his horrible, (the worst in the NFL for the past 10 years)draft record which speaks for itself and is the reason we are in this dismal state. Look at his contract signings and how he has overpaid many of them based on their performance. And on top of all that Cam may not have the mental makeup to be a top 10 qb. We have been in huge trouble for 7 years and we are likely to be in huge trouble for many more. Hurney has left us with marginal talent, salary cap handcuffs, and no hope for years.

Posted by: mel panthersfan | Oct 22, 2012 10:13:22 PM

the talent of the players is not the problem. our talent stacks up with almost anybody in the league. experience is lacking in a lot of important positions and the coaching has been pretty awful.

all those late round studs this guy found? all the solid 1st round picks? the greg olsen trade? the resigning of elite guys and letting of average guys go?

how is this on him? sure he missed a few times (everette brown, jimmy clausen, etc.) but he hit way more than most GM's do he's just been here long enough to have more mistakes quantity wise than most. % wise dude was ON. it's not his fault that rivera doesn't know how to use the 2 elite running backs he kept for him. it's not his fault that rivera can't figure out a way to utilize edwards even though every year he shows incredible flash in the 2 or 3 plays he gets the opportunity on (preseason or not).

it's year 3 of an entire rebuild. and we've lost 4 games by a possession or less. You can't tell me that's on the GM. close losses spell a coaching change and some personnel tweaks, not a lack of ability to compete. not a lack of talent.

this team has 7 rookie or 2nd year starters who ALL look very good given the lack of experience. you got 5 pro bowlers on the roster. then you have guys like olsen, stewart, anderson that are no doubt pro bowl caliber and maybe would be on another team.

where is talent the problem? I can't look at a single position on the depth chart and say "wow we really need a better guy starting at that position" except maybe defensive tackle but that's more because we haven't seen enough of edwards and edwards to really know what we have there. and they've played fine thus far. definitely haven't been completely gashed by runs up the middle like we were last year and the year before.

outside of the giants game and probably the falcons game.....these other losses have been basically entirely on Cam and coaching. You have to live with Cam's mistakes....it's year 2. he hasn't once looked like jimmy clausen.

talent isn't the problem.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 23, 2012 12:30:03 AM

^I knew you would have to defend Hurney lol. These rookies on this team are terrible, except for Keek. The rookies last year were terrible, except for Cam. The rookies before that were ALL terrible. Lafell is not the answer. Murphy has no hands. Smith is losing a step. Olsen is a tweener who doesn't excel at anything. DWill is old and overpaid. Tolbert is out of shape. The ONLY bright spots on offense are Cam and Stewart. The defense, even with a weak zone gameplan and no aggression, still manage to get the job done. Keek is the ONLY bright spot on defense but now they have a problem with Beason and justifying paying him.

Posted by: defensewinsgames | Oct 23, 2012 7:27:17 AM

^I knew you would have to defend Hurney lol. These rookies on this team are terrible, except for Keek. The rookies last year were terrible, except for Cam. The rookies before that were ALL terrible. Lafell is not the answer. Murphy has no hands. Smith is losing a step. Olsen is a tweener who doesn't excel at anything. DWill is old and overpaid. Tolbert is out of shape. The ONLY bright spots on offense are Cam and Stewart. The defense, even with a weak zone gameplan and no aggression, still manage to get the job done. Keek is the ONLY bright spot on defense but now they have a problem with Beason and justifying paying him.

Posted by: defensewinsgames | Oct 23, 2012 7:27:20 AM

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