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October 22, 2012

Players react with surprise, shock to Hurney's firing

Several Carolina Panthers expressed shock and surprise when hearing about the firing of general manager Marty Hurney early Monday. Some of the players had not even learned about the firing until I asked for comment.

Veterans RB DeAngelo Williams, T Jordan Gross and LB Jon Beason politely declined comment, with the latter two saying they would like to meet with the coach and team before remarking.

QB Cam Newton got to the stadium shortly after noon. When asked for his reaction to the news, Newton shook his head, looked straight ahead, whistled softly and continued walking. 

DE Charles Johnson got a phone call this morning alerting him of Hurney's firing. Johnson, who signed a $76 million deal with the Panthers in 2011, said it was "tough to see Marty go."

"I didn’t know the GM coached,' Johnson said. "Whenever the GM start coaching and all that? If they’re blaming it on him then I guess he’ll just take the fall for it.

"It is what it is. I just thought it was bad timing."

Rookie Josh Norman is part of Hurney's last draft class with the Panthers. Hurney used a fifth-round pick to bring in Norman, who has started every game this season at cornerback.

"He meant everything to me," Norman said. "He’s the main reason im here. He believed in me and what I could do and just like it’s so sad. It sucks that he had to go. It’s crazy. He’s the main reason I’m here. A guy like that. but we’re not goin got let him down regardless. He’ll always be that guy, that No. 1 guy for me regardless."

Reserve defensive tackle Sione Fua was part of Hurney's 2011 draft class, one that outside of Newton does not have a single starter. 

"It’s part of the business but I heard that I guess the way he wanted his contract to be set up is how we perform and everything so I know he’s a good guy, a good manager and I'm sure he’ll find work somewhere else," Fua said. "It’s a tough loss. Ive never had to deal with anything like this before so I don’t know if this will change anything around with the team but we just got to keep grinding, keep practicing and focus on getting another win."

--Jonathan Jones




Posted by Observer Sports on October 22, 2012 at 01:09 PM | Permalink


How can any player be shocked? No other franchise would have kept the GM this long

read the grantland article, it spells out the case for dismissal pretty clearly .... starting with giving Delhomme a huge contract extension after the playoff meltdown - that was a fire-able offense alone - why should any GM give a huge contract to anyone another team won't sign! or would sign for vets minimum (unless your Cleveland who gave him 7 million to also suck - yes Delhomme made 20 million in one year to be terrible) Charles Johnson defends Hurney cause he has the cash to go with his mediocre sack totals. I love Armanti (who obviously hasn't worked out), but not at #33 given to Patriots. Everette Brown, again, giving up a first round pick to select in second round - how can that be logical in anyone's world? another fire-able offense alone. Maybe he is a nice guy, but he's not a nice GM Lastly, I'll just say the Patriots cut a player when he might be done, we seem to pay players when they are mostly done (Delhomme, Beason, Davis, Mare, Otah, etc) so yes, it was time to go.

PS - Charles Johnson you are 31st in sack totals and paid like a top 3 DE, so yeah, no wonder you like Mr Hurney

Posted by: Isaiah | Oct 22, 2012 1:20:00 PM

So long SuckyMcSucksalot.

Posted by: Man Up | Oct 22, 2012 1:26:55 PM

Idiot fans. Blame for this teams failures lies on Jerry Richardson, period. He's the final word for all personell decisions that this team makes, and if you don't know that then your jst like your quarterback, always lookn to blame someone else. That's the problem with Carolina and its fan base. Last year Cam really outplayed himself and the fact of the matter is that he's good, jst not that good, and he and his fans just can't figure out why he isn't makn the plays he made last year. Hurney was there then. All the talk was about this year based on the play from this team last year, not about firing Marty Hurney. The other issue with him is that he's no leader. Cam needs to look at RG3, this guy is a leader, and takes the blame for every failure his team makes, even if it isn't his fault.This guy makes you want to play for him. That and the fact that the defense hasn't been that good for a while. You can't stop the run and the secondary isn't consistent. Again, the quarterback is not just the leader on offense, he's the leader of the team, and if he can't gain the respect from his players to make them to want to play for him, then this team will never be successful with the attitude he is currently displaying at this time, no matter who you hire or fire as GM

Posted by: skynz71 | Oct 22, 2012 1:29:57 PM

The only question i have is,why did it take so long to fire Hurney? He should have been gone long ago. This is some more of JR's misplaced loyalty,hanging on to Panthers team personel way to long.

Posted by: Black--Panther | Oct 22, 2012 2:43:40 PM

Normally, I would advocate giving Mike Holmgren a call but this is the same guy who drafted a QB who just turned 29 in the 1st round!

Posted by: buckshot jenkins | Oct 22, 2012 2:47:38 PM

Everybody thinks the grass is always going to be greener but Hurney wouldnt have been brought in to begin with if he wasnt a talented GM. Sometimes, you keep the team together to quicker fight through the rough patches.

Posted by: GrassAintGreener | Oct 22, 2012 2:57:04 PM

There are the aforementioned blunders (big contracts to Jake, Johnson, Williams, drafting Armanti & Everette Brown) plus these: gave the big contract to the wrong LB (Morgan instead of Witherspoon), drafting Eric Shelton, Stefan LeFors and Jimmy Clausen, and (along with Rivera) not addressing the glaring needs at the interior lines with this last draft.

We need to do what the Rams have done since the end of last season. I saw a graphic during their game with Green Bay yesterday that said (I'm paraphrasing, and am probably off on the exact numbers) that the Packers had about 25 players that had been in the team 5 years or more, and about 25 players from the 2011 Rams were no longer in the NFL. They completely cleaned house in the front office and on the field, except for keeping their QB and DE that were #1 picks, and their veteran RB. That's exactly what we need to do - completely empty the front office and get rid of the 20 or so players we have that have no business being on an NFL roster, keep our #1 overall pick at QB and his veteran receiver, and build from there.

Posted by: J | Oct 22, 2012 3:07:21 PM

it shouldn't be too hard....

if you have one really good rb signed, don't sign 1-2 more for massive money

if you have players aging, don't give them more than any other team would

if you have a player that has blown his knee out 3 times, don't risk too much on a contract

don't get too tied into loyalty or previous performance on aging players

these seem like basics that marty ignored totally.

Posted by: big gulps | Oct 22, 2012 3:20:48 PM

The really telling thing here is how we felt during the first 2 games last year. Even though the Panthers lost, there was hope. Cam gave us hope that things were going to be better even though they didn't win. Then hope started to falter and we wanted results. Then the resignation that the Panthers still weren't very good. Then a new season and hope that we could build off last season but then Rivera showed he didn't have guts or acumen to try and beat the Falcons and instead decided to try and stop them and it backfired. From the comments he made during interviews after that it's obvious that's when he started losing the locker room. The Panthers lost going into the bye and lost coming back from it to a mediocre team at home. If I was still invested in this season I would have been pissed. Instead I just shook my head and turned off the tv. Cam has a right to be pissed and I don't blame him one bit for what he said. Hurney brought in Rivera and his staff. He's the one who agreed to sign all the ex Chargers except for the one who would have made an immediate impact in Vincent Jackson. Did you see how many yards he got yesterday? How many did our 3 pronged running back platoon get? I'm not saying anything negative about Hurney as a person because I don't know him but it's obvious he doesn't have what it takes to build a team through the draft or to pay money to free agents who would make a difference or to pick coaches who can control the locker room and make changes even at halftime when things aren't going right let alone after a bye week.

Posted by: I'm Right | Oct 22, 2012 3:51:46 PM

Wonder if the media will pick up on Big Money throwing the coaching staff under the buss, the way they are saying Cam did?

No, actually, I don't wonder about that at all. I don't blame CJ for trying to stick up for Hurney, but Hurney hired the coaching staff that he's now throwing under the buss. If the coaching staff isn't getting it done, then can't we blame the guy that hired them ... or gave out $76 million contracts, but won't use a high draft pick on DE to maximize the return.

I think there's plenty of blame to go around, but it all comes back to Hurney, just like he said himself. I give Hurney credit for that.

Posted by: Phillip | Oct 22, 2012 4:33:35 PM

"big money" CJ is currently 31st in sacks and last year was 21st, certainly not worthy of the money ... Yasinkas on ESPN questioned the firing, wow, playoffs 3 of 11 years? along with all the other stuff - how about stifling a whole year by keeping Fox at least one if not two years too long, yeah sounds like a great guy who in year two probably didn't have much to do with our super bowl run (maybe, did he hire fox - who was good initially and initial signing of Delhomme was good - although offset .. but yeah, the receivers! oh my - here's one we all forget Dwayne Jarret picked 45th over Steve Smith (51st by NY) despite Smith being named USC's MVP! (and went on to have 5 catches in Super Bowl and 212 catches in 3 years before injuries - not a DUI like Jarret - caused his demise. Please hire an aggressive GM with some track record of salary cap management that makes sense and put a provision in their contract no trading next years #1 pick for a second round choices!

Posted by: Isaiah | Oct 22, 2012 4:52:23 PM

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