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Monday, October 22, 2012


General Manager Marty Hurney was relieved of duties today. The Panthers notified media and fans around 9:30 Monday, after a 19-14 loss to Dallas.

Hurney presided over the most prolific period in Panthers football, including three runs to the playoffs in 2003, 2005, 2008.  However, that January 2009 home playoff game resulted in a blowout loss, and that was the last time Carolina was over .500 – including a league worst 9 wins over 2010-current.  The team had, as of this offseason, looked like it was on the way up – certainly under Ryan Kalil’s own predictions, but improving nonetheless.  And right now it’s clear that’s not the case.   I wouldn’t have fired Hurney at this point, but better now than in the middle of the offseason when draft, free agency, and coaching search all coincide.

Hurney was one of the league's longest tenured GMs, and had worked without a contract - something that currently might not work out that well for him monetarily.  Carolina has identified Brandon Beane as the administrator who would take over some of the duties, though the rest generally will run as it had with everyone in their roles.

It’s difficult to see how Ron Rivera and staff will make it past the year, as well.  Being 1-5 so far is a difficult stretch, and there are still three strong division foes and a tough remaining schedule overall to deal with.  Rivera, 6-10 last year, is unlikely to improve upon that this year, and is likely out.  It’s unlike the team to do so, but if things do become a struggle, the team might look at replacing Rivera as head coach mid-season to give Rob Chudzinski a shot at the job early – though he himself has underperformed this year.

It’s a shame that seems inevitable.  I have issues with the on-field performance but from a design standpoint, a Coryell offense and a pro multiple defense is essentially an ideal way to do things, in my own opinion.  I do hope that whatever happens, things don’t stray too far from where they are schematically, and are simply better coached from here on.

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