How is GM Marty Hurney approaching an unprecedented camp?

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) Marty Hurney
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) Marty Hurney /

How is Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney doing things differently during an unprecedented offseason period?

This is a strange time across the NFL. Teams might be back at training camp. But things look much different than in years gone by thanks to the current climate.

It is going to be an interesting few weeks for those looking to stake a claim to make the Carolina Panthers’ 53-man roster. No preseason games will not help their case. And it leaves the front office with no other alternative other than to pick apart prospects in unfamiliar ways.

General manager Marty Hurney will be tasked with making the big decisions alongside head coach Matt Rhule and others. What direction they go will determine just how well they are going to get on during the first year of their rebuild.

While this is an unprecedented situation for the Panthers. Hurney feels confident that he has come up with contingency plans to fully evaluate each current roster member and what they can bring to the organization.

"“You use everything at your disposal. We don’t have the preseason games to use as an evaluation tool, but we have everything else, and that’s how we’ll make our decisions.”"

How the Carolina Panthers are working differently this offseason

Hurney hasn’t ruled out the prospect of bringing in reinforcements if the coaching staff are not happy with what they are seeing. It’s hard to gauge in-game performance during team drills. And Rhule’s lack of experience in an NFL environment could see him lean on his general manager even more during his transition to the next level.

The former Baylor man will find out quickly just what a difference coaching in the NFL actually is. And Hurney is all-too-aware that bringing a new arrival into the organization isn’t going to happen overnight thanks to league regulations implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"“I think that right now, we’re in a period of if a good player comes up and you can bring him in and get the physical and start the COVID (testing), we’ll do that. But it’s not like it was before where you could bring a guy in really have him be involved in meetings and everything the next day.”"

The Panthers’ evaluation on the field will be their primary objective before selecting the 53-man roster for the eagerly anticipated Week 1 clash against the Las Vegas Raiders. But those who have been attentive and vocal during virtual OTA sessions could have inadvertently given themselves a head start.

Grasping the theoretical aspect is one thing. But putting it all together under pressure is another matter entirely. Hurney credited Rhule for getting his squad ready for their return to camp. And hopefully, this can lead to the Panthers hitting the ground running when competitive action gets underway.

"“We’ve already evaluated players by virtual meetings all offseason. And I think Matt Rhule and his staff have done a tremendous job of getting guys up to speed with the virtual meetings, and then the way they teach out on the field.”"

Little is expected of the Panthers in 2020. This is something they can use to their advantage. And whatever success they generate would leave Hurney in a good spot ahead of another crucial offseason period in 2021.

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