Marty Hurney's being talked about more than at really any point while he was GM.
The Charlotte Observer paints a picture of Jerry Richardson sitting Hurney down and asking him two questions:
Why are we 1-5, and what are we going to do about it?
Hurney said he didn't have good answers for either, and that he was fired soon after. It's hard to say if the answer was tied to whether Hurney was going to be let go, only Jerry Richardson knows that.
That's one piece of the puzzle. nfl.com's Michael Lombardi suggests there was another:
Speaking of Carolina, after talking to sources inside the Panthers building, it appears head coach Ron Rivera must rapidly turn this season around to save his job for 2013. I'm told owner Jerry Richardson wanted former GM Marty Hurney to make some moves, and when Hurney was reluctant, it cost him his own job. Hurney saved a few people with his actions, but if the Panthers don't start winning, there will be no one left to save the coaching staff.
So I wonder what the want was?
JR demanded something that Hurney didn't do. But it wasn't done. Unless it was one of the recent roster moves (I doubt highly JR had a want to put Chris Gamble or Jon Beason on IR, I doubt he wanted Frank Kearse cut; I doubt he was dying to bring on DT Nate Chandler or the two waiver scrubs that took the place of Pro Bowl caliber defenders).
If it was Rivera's own head, that may have been a tough sell. Richardson would have lost both his football men in hours, which starts to make the season a larger disaster. Still possible, but with Hurney gone, it more or less makes all of this inevitable anyway, if not immediate.
If it was dropping the OC, Richardson could've gone to Rivera and demanded it - there have been some minor changes in the running game, which hopefully means more from center; was that a compromise to save Rob Chudzinski, or was that just a natural move that needed to happen?
Was it Sean McDermott? That's harder to say; Rivera can put the defense on himself, and it's played better the last few weeks regardless.
But, Richardson apparently demanded changes, and no one else has really gone. The only changes were to the run game, still to be seen honestly. So did Richardson get what he wanted?