The fact that Marty Hurney lasted as long as he did as a general manager of an NFL team is rather remarkable.
He was a reporter covering the Washington Redskins when one thing led to another, and after some years later and a stint in San Diego, Hurney found himself leading the front office for the Carolina Panthers.
But after two separate stints as the team’s general manager that covered 15 years, Hurney was relieved of his duties Monday morning by owner David Tepper.
The Panthers are 4-10 and are currently in last place in the NFC and sit fourth in the NFL Draft order.
“I think sometimes you just need a restart, a refresh,” he said. “We did it last year on the coaching side. Maybe you could say it should have been done before on the GM side. Maybe it should have been. I’m sure people may say that, or otherwise, on both sides.
“I think its time, on both sides, to do that. It just seems like the right time to move forward.”
One of the biggest criticisms of Hurney has been his drafting, but oddly enough, not with his picks in the first round, which have routinely panned out at a high percentage. His latter picks, though, have not been very fruitful.
Usually, it’s missing the first-round draft picks that gets general managers fired, but there have been a lot of second, third and fourth-round misses that have set the team back.
“This team could easily have another four wins,” Tepper said. “The eight games that we had the ball last to win or tie – seven to win, one to tie – if you win four of those games, you’re in a totally different position right now with this young team.”
Tepper said that he will be looking for a general manager that is likeminded when it comes to relying on the new way of doing things in the world of sports.
“Marty is a little more tradition and I’m a little more data driven and analytical,” he said. “Matching those things would be pretty good.”
Carolina, Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and Jacksonville are all looking to hire a new general manager.
Other aspects Tepper wants out of his new general manager is someone, as he said, not afraid to make decisions and has an open communication with the head coach Matt Rhule on decisions.
“You look at successful organizations, and there’s a certain alignment between the head coach and the GM,” Tepper said many times. “To think you can do that without some sort of alignment is nuts. So, to not have a head coach with some input into that is stupid. I don’t want to be stupid.”
The looming question now is what will happen team wise for the NFL Draft on May 1.
Tepper said should a new general manager not be in place by then, they have contingency plans in place.
Whether there’s a new general manager hired by then or not, the Panthers have to decide if they’re going to select a quarterback in the first round. Current signal caller Teddy Bridgewater is 3-10 with Carolina.
Tepper was asked if drafting a quarterback was a possibility.
“Unless you have that guy to get you to the playoffs or Super Bowls, you have to keep reevaluating that, because that’s the only thing that matters is Super Bowls,” he said.
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