June 30, 2015

Cam Newton calls for change, so Panthers fire GM Marty Hurney


Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton told the media following Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys that “something needs to change.”

What exactly needs changing? Well, probably a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

But instead of a few minor tweaks here and there, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson elected to go down a different road; and that road ended the career of general manager Marty Hurney.

“This was an extremely difficult decision,” Richardson said in a statement. “Marty made every effort to bring success to the Panthers and took the team to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games. Unfortunately, we have not enjoyed the success we hoped for in recent years. I have the greatest respect and admiration for Marty and will always appreciate the way he tirelessly served the organization.”

Hurney had been a member of the Panthers organization since 1998. He led the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2003, along with playoff appearances in 2005 and 2008, but the team went his entire tenure without having back-to-back winning seasons.

Related: Cam Newton needs to lead his team in every facet of game

For now, no interim general manager will be named. The current staff will continue under the same roles they had in Hurney’s regime.

What is possibly the most surprising of all of this is the fact that head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski came out of this unscathed, for now, at least. The Panthers have been flailing around on the offensive side of the ball in virtually every game this season, and things don’t appear to be getting any better.

If you remember, Chudzinski coaches with one of the thickest play books in the league, and he only shared a small portion of it with Newton last season. Maybe this is just a case of Chudzinski opening the play book too quickly.

As a result, Newton is starting to act like a shell of himself.. If you watched him at the postgame press conference, you probably saw him come across looking somewhat dazed and confused; as if he doesn’t know what he needs to do to fix his team.

Whether Hurney’s dismissal is the kind of change Newton was looking for we don’t yet know. But if Newton can’t figure out how to get his team back to being competitive, at the very least, more heads will roll. And it’s entirely possible that Newton could be looking at a completely different staff of coaches next season.

Even though things are bad now, if a new coach comes in with a new staff, the growing pains will still be there. Perhaps growing pains are what these Panthers are currently going through.

We will just have another 10 games to figure it out.

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