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October 22, 2012

Steve Smith: "Have always respected Hurney"

Walking into Bank of America Stadium on Monday morning, Panthers veteran wideout Steve Smith was still trying to process the news that general manager Marty Hurney had been fired.

“It sucks. I don't know what to say,” Smith said. “It's a tough business. And when you don't have a good year, not just players but everyone else is under a microscope.”

Smith, the longest-tenured player on the Panthers' roster, was drafted in 2001, a year before owner Jerry Richardson promoted Hurney to GM.

“I always will, I always have respected Marty as a man and also as a GM. He's made some tough decisions,” Smith said. “Marty and Mr. Richardson, I think neither party thought this day would come in the middle of the season like this.”

Smith was asked whether Hurney was being made the scapegoat for the Panthers, who are 1-5 and have lost four games in a row.

“In a loss, you can look at a lot of people and a lot of things (and) the word, “scapegoat,” comes to mind,” Smith said. “I'm not in a position, and I don't want to put myself or speak for things that I have no – I'm not in those meetings. I don't know what's being said or what expectations were unmet or expected.”

Smith said he did not see Hurney's firing coming, but has learned not to be surprised in the NFL.

“In this league, every week is something new,” Smith said. “But the part about any business is sometimes good people get let go. Sometimes it's too soon. Sometimes it's too late. But that's how it is.”

--Joseph Person


Posted by Observer Sports on October 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM | Permalink



Posted by: TG | Oct 22, 2012 11:31:04 AM

should've been canned for that multi-yr deal with delhomme after the infamous 5 INT game. single dumbest move i've ever seen.

Posted by: big gulps | Oct 22, 2012 11:42:24 AM

Nice guy who tried hard, but didnt get it right. Too many bad decisons on draft day (especially after round 1). Signed too many marginal players to long-term deals based on loyalty. Tied us to a "running" concept with the signings of Williams & Stewart in a league set-up for "passing". Wrong model, marginal core players, & weak drafts all came back to haunt Mr. Hurney. Lots of work to do to fix this but at least we have started the process.

Posted by: ScottS | Oct 22, 2012 11:43:44 AM

Now get rid of the Defensive Corrdinator, and tell Cam to scramble more an we should win some games.

Posted by: Parrothead1985 | Oct 22, 2012 11:46:52 AM

More importantly, tell Cam to stop throwing inopportune interceptions.

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder | Oct 22, 2012 11:55:35 AM

Way not to get caught in the backlash of this firing Steve. Stay neutral, and dont get caught in the BS. this was a long time coming and now that it has, its on to the next game- damn who's the GM right now. Lets finish strong!

Posted by: mexoplex | Oct 22, 2012 11:57:31 AM

I still think the AE draft pick was probably the worst move he made while GM...and there were a lot of bad ones. He basically gave up a 2nd & 3rd pick for NOTHING!!!! I know there are a lot of APP homers up here, but AE would have been there in the 7th round or even after the draft.

Posted by: truth_cutz | Oct 22, 2012 11:59:18 AM

I read Charles Johnson tweets about this being BS, what's BS is the amount of $ Hurney paid him to have one good game this year and a very average year last year.
Anyone who doubts this move please read this expose on ESPN's Grantland found here:
It details the bad decisions, if Holmgrean can get fired in Cleveland after three seasons and a proven track record of success in Green Bay and Seattle, then Marty should have been gone long ago, his contract to Delhomme after his playoff meltdown when no one else in the league would have offered him anything but minimum vet salary alone was a fire-able offense .. read the Grantland article as it his explicit details of ineptitutde - sure some of the players like him - that's cause he's overpaying them, I'd like a boss like that too!

Posted by: Isaiah | Oct 22, 2012 12:11:29 PM

Next moves:

-dump DeAngelo, try and trade Charles Johnson and Beason for a sack of rocks or anything you can get,
-replace Rivera/McDermott...the so called "defensive experts"

Posted by: Fast Freddie | Oct 22, 2012 12:47:42 PM

What about the Offensive Coordinator? The play calling has been very suspect..We've seen 3rd and 2 to seal the game, and we try for a home run play. Starting to think that Ron Rivera is the wrong person for the job.. His style is very passive.. and its starting to show on the whole team. Have we ever seen him get upset? Cam also needs to get over bad plays.. Its the NFL, your going to make mistakes, you cant let them affect your play going forward. He needs a vet there to mentor him.

Posted by: Johnathan | Oct 22, 2012 12:59:35 PM

Now trade Newton for Tebow and then let the running backs do their job, so that the Panthers will have a balanced attack. The offense was designed to show off the Newton pick and it has failed miserably. The offense coordinator, has called some extremely stupid plays and he needs to take a hike as well. A bad offense does little to encourage a strong defense.

Though mistakes were made with the defense posture, they are not nearly as bad as they have been made to look. It would not take that much work and player rotation, to bring the defense back up to speed.

Posted by: NCJohn | Oct 22, 2012 1:11:44 PM

Reckon it's too much to hope for JR to sell the team or die mid-season.

Posted by: Deacon Blues | Oct 22, 2012 1:22:24 PM

The only comment I'll disagree with is the extension for Delhomme...the way that contract was structured is what allowed us to get rid of him as quickly as we did after all that. He still would've been on our roster an extra year if it wasn't for that, I know it was confusing but it was the same thing the eagles did to Donnavin and its probably the same way Sanchez's contract got re-negotiated at the beginning of this season

Posted by: AceDawg44 | Oct 22, 2012 1:23:04 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 1:37:41 PM

The OC needs to go. I am not thrilled with the DC or the HC either, but right now, Chud is done. We need veterans on this team, including coaches. Why not Bill Cowher? Why not Jon Gruden? Someone. Marty is responsible for all he did and didn't do. He sucked as a GM. He misplaces money. He tried to build through the draft and hire low profile coordinators to be leading coaches. Just bad management. I was wondering when the org. was going to wise up. Now come the coaching changes....you know they are shaking in their boots right about now.

Posted by: JoshL. | Oct 22, 2012 2:00:17 PM


That's not correct. Delhomme was paid 7 million dollars in "guaranteed" money the year we let him go. He played for the Browns and was making money from both teams at the same time. Horrible deal by a terrible GM.

Posted by: A Fan | Oct 22, 2012 2:06:25 PM

Jay Gruden for Head Coach....At least there is passion in the Gruden name...

Posted by: UR new GM | Oct 22, 2012 2:07:40 PM

Marty Hurney was a good guy who made some good and bad personnel decisions for the Panthers. The other culprits are Ron Rivera and the current coaching staff to include Chud and McDermott. Lets face it. Ron Rivera is like Mike Singletary was with the SF 49ers...good player and person but NOT HEAD COACHING MATERIAL. Singletary was eventually fired after the ownership and fans got tired of all the losing and the same fate awaits Rivera and his staff if the losing continues. The talent is there to wins games but Rivera and Co have failed to figure out how to use it. READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL CHUD ON HOW TO RUN A REAL NFL OFFENSE and not some college gimmicks. If the losing continues, then there will be a total housecleaning at the end of the season. A team that held so much promise and talent is LITERALLY IMPLODING AT THE SEAMS. THE BUCK FOR THAT STARTS WITH RON RIVERA. COACHING IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES WITH THIS TEAM AND A CHANGE MAY NEED TO BE MADE. The New GM when hired will want to bring in his own personnel and that does not bode well for Rivera and staff. GO PANTHERS!

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Oct 22, 2012 2:15:32 PM

Now, it take more than one person to win or lose a game. They said Came needed to past the ball to other receivers other than Steve Smith. Okay that seemed to have failed yesterday as well. I think we need a new QB Coach, New Coach and any one else who can't pull thier load. The receivers didn't show me anything again yesterday. maybe Williams need to get rid of some of that hair, take some weight off. I think we can still have a good finish this year.
People/teammates should stop blaming Cam for all these loses.

Posted by: Brenda leigh | Oct 22, 2012 2:58:52 PM

Don't let the door hit ya on the way out Marty. Plus, you get NO credit for choosing Cam Newton 1st overall in the draft, an idiot knew we had no choice but to select a powerful QB to compete against the likes of Brees, Ryan and Freeman. What were you before you became GM, a sports writer? Get the ***k out of here.

Posted by: chazatlas | Oct 22, 2012 4:55:53 PM

I am so happy with this decision but it is literally 7 years too late. Why has Richardson been so passive about this horrible GM? I guess his health is one reason but not the entire reason. JR had better step up his game or his fan base will disappear. I am a hard core fan (missed one home game in 16 years and went to all playoff games) and I said that if he did not fire Hurney this year I was done. Sell my PSL's and move on to something that is fun. Losing year after year after year with NO HOPE for things to improve wears on even a dedicated fan.

Hire the best GM candidate available, pay him what you have to, and then get the hell out of the way and let him do his job Jerry. And pray you can renourish the fan base.

Hurney should go back to high school sports reporting. He has no clue how to manage any team, even a 7 year old flag football team.

Posted by: mel panthersfan | Oct 22, 2012 4:55:55 PM

Here's what we do....Fire Ron this afternoon and throw a boatload of cash to get Bill Cowher!!! Then bench Cam and start AE at QB. Sign Plaxico Buress immediately. Trade Captain Munnerlyn for a couple of 1st rounders and cut D-Will and J-Stew, after all they are just overpaid and have contributed nothing to the team. Draft a WR to help Smitty regain his form. Then we should force JR to sell the team to somebody committed to winning and not just making a profit..... Works when I do it on the Madden 2001, it should work for realz right! Go Panthers (anybody got Giants tickets?)

Posted by: latdog43 | Oct 22, 2012 5:30:50 PM

Hurney has put a lot of very good players on this years roster but if hiring Riviera was his decision he should be fired for that alone.Our coaching has taken one of the most exciting 2011 teams and made it into the most boring team of 2012.LET CAM DO HIS THING!

Posted by: ed | Oct 22, 2012 6:10:46 PM

The good ol boy mentality has to go. We are leaving to much on the table because of a lack of aggressive leadership. This is a sport for athletes who sometimes have to leave their kindness at the door and get the job done. This is an aggressive in your face game and when your owners, coaches, and managers are more worried about image rather than wins, his is what you end up with. I have never not attended several games a year but after continuous disappointment I believe this will be my first gameless season. Hell as much as I hate those dirty birds down in Atlanta, it is only a 3 hour drive to see a win.

Posted by: Fishin4Fire | Oct 22, 2012 8:21:00 PM

If the HC Rivera can't start showing some emotion when his team is playing like crap, lots of penalties during a game, not executing on O and D.... and S Teams, etc and COACH his fragile QB during the game he'll be gone after this season. This needs to motivate the highly paid players to start playing and the coaches to show some emotion and start coaching.

Posted by: BG | Oct 22, 2012 8:41:27 PM

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