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Carolina Panthers fire General Manager Marty Hurney

October 22, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney, right, shares a laugh with team owner Jerry Richardson back in September.
Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney, right, shares… (Jeff Siner / Charlotte Observer…)

Marty Hurney is no longer the general manager of the Carolina Panthers, a team that started the season with plenty of promise but fell to 1-5 with a 19-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Owner Jerry Richardson announced the firing of Hurney on Monday.

"This was an extremely difficult decision," Richardson said in a team statement. "Marty made every effort to bring success to the Panthers and took the team to a Super Bowl.... 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."

A former sports journalist, Hurney started with the Panthers as salary cap manager in 1998 and was promoted to general manager in 2002. Before the 2003 season he signed free-agent quarterback Jake Delhomme, who helped Carolina compile an 11-5 record and advance to the Super Bowl that season.

The Panthers have had some up and down years since then. They haven't had a winning season since 2008, but appeared to be on the upswing after last year's 6-10 effort that included some spectacular performances from then-rookie quarterback Cam Newton, whose 17 interceptions were overshadowed by his 35 touchdowns (21 passing, 14 rushing).

Center Ryan Kalil even took out a full-page newspaper ad during the off-season promising a Super Bowl victory this season. That appears highly unlikely right now, with the team's dismal record and Newton in somewhat of a sophomore slump (five passing touchdowns, six interceptions and three rushing touchdowns).

Hurney claimed responsibility for the Panthers' disappointing season in the team's statement Monday.

“I am responsible for everybody in coaching, the players, the scouts and everybody in football operations," he said. "After six weeks, we are 1-5 coming off a 6-10 season.”

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