The Carolina Panthers hiring of general manager Marty Hurney comes at a bad time for the organization…
Carolina Panthers players, coaches and team personnel all likely anticipated the organization would fill the vacant general manager role prior to the NFL Scouting Combine. As that date nears next week, it was no surprise that the interim tag was removed from former general manager Marty Hurney as he was promoted to the full-time role.
Hurney served in the same capacity for 10-plus seasons with the Panthers before a 1-5 start in 2012 led to his firing. Former owner and founder Jerry Richardson and Hurney maintained a close relationship following his departure and when the former decided to part ways with his replacement, Dave Gettleman, prior to training camp it led to his return.
The ill-timed release of Gettleman left Carolina in an awful position to find a suitable full-time replacement. Typically, teams part ways with coaches and any other higher executives following a season, not just before one starts. Contracts and other implications led to the Panthers having to find someone not currently associated with a team and thus, Hurney was elected to “fill in” for the season.
Allegations of workplace misconduct coming to light in late December led to Richardson announcing his intent to sell the franchise, another ill-timed event leaving the franchise without an owner and general manager entering the offseason.
Owners would obviously prefer to have a hand in the hiring of their personnel but with Carolina needing to move forward and the impending sale taking a considerable amount of time, the Panthers were forced to name a full time general manager for scouting and NFL Draft preparation purposes – without any owner insight, at least publicly.
All the result of being hard pressed for time and not wanting to completely overhaul the organization, despite new ownership – meaning wholesale changes could be on the horizon.
Hurney failed in his previous tenure, blaming a lack of locker room leadership and according to ESPN staff writer Pat Yasinskas stating that certain players needed to raise their game, “and take hold like a Ray Lewis does or a Tom Brady does.”
Despite his criticism, Hurney received public praise from a few of the players on the team, including veteran defensive end Charles Johnson.
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While Hurney will be inheriting a veteran team with plenty of personality and leadership, much of the core contributing group will soon be retiring. Captains Ryan Kalil and Thomas Davis have already announced next season will be their last with the Panthers.
Fellow captains Greg Olsen, Kurt Coleman and Julius Peppers are also all nearing the end, or have potentially already reached it in the case of Peppers, their final games. Only Luke Kuechly (26) and Cam Newton (28) will be under 30 when the season begins this year.
Hurney states he’s learned from previous mistakes but inheriting a team with an abundance of veteran leadership so close to leaving presents a near impossible situation for Hurney in Carolina.