My Chat With Panthers GM Marty Hurney

June 21st, 2019


Don’t sleep on the Panthers.

It’s easy to forget Carolina was 6-2 at the midpoint last year before Cam Newton’s shoulder went south. The injury was a lot worse than anticipated and opposing defenses quickly realized Newton couldn’t throw a ball more than 20 yards.

After beating the Bucs 42-28, the Panthers couldn’t pull out of a 7-game tailspin that left Ron Rivera’s job security in jeopardy.

Marty Hurney, a former sportswriter now in his second stint as Carolina’s GM, stuck with Rivera and new owner David Tepper didn’t overrule him.

Now Hurney believes Gerald McCoy will contribute to a revival in Charlotte. McCoy may have felt disrespected in Tampa, but the Panthers treated him like a rock star when he visited as a free agent.

“When Gerald came in, six of our guys took him out to lunch,” Hurney told me. “I’ve never seen so many veteran players approach me when they heard Gerald was coming in and ask if we had a real chance to sign him.”

McCoy may turn out to be a key acquisition as Carolina focused on the trenches to better compete in what Hurney terms the best division in the league. “Going against him twice a year, we know Gerald’s a really good player …  a perfect fit for us,” Hurney said.

Bowles Believer

Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles

Hurney had strong praise for the Bucs, believing the tandem of Bruce Arians as head coach and Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator is a winning combination.

According to Hurney, the Saints remain the team to beat in the NFC South. He sees the Falcons as a dangerous club, buoyed by the hiring of Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator.

Tampa Bay’s decision to replace McCoy with Ndamukong Suh at defensive tackle is a reflection of Bowles’ preference for a 3-4 scheme, according to Hurney. He believes Jameis Winston is a gifted quarterback who will be fully developed by Arians and his staff.

Hurney is one of many NFL executives who consider Bowles one of the league’s top defensive minds. The Jets didn’t make many key stops the past three seasons with Bowles as head coach, but Hurney agrees with me that Bowles will be far more involved with Tampa Bay’s defense now that his focus has narrowed.

In Luke Kuechly and Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers boast some big-time playmakers who have tormented the Bucs over the years. What they don’t have is a stud receiver comparable to Mike Evans.

That’s why Hurney is counting on young targets like D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel to elevate their game and provide Newton with more firepower.

Mix-And-Match Approach

It won’t take long for the Bucs to get a look at these new-look Panthers, who also signed defensive end Bruce Irvin and center Matt Paradis in the offseason. Tampa Bay travels to Charlotte for a Thursday night matchup in Week 2.

McCoy will be waiting, eager to see his former teammates and eager to show up his former organization. Hurney said McCoy’s versatility will allow defensive coordinator Eric Washington to utilize him all across the line.

We didn’t see much of that mix-and-match approach during McCoy’s nine years in Tampa. Most of the time, opposing guards and centers knew exactly where McCoy was going to line up.

Although McCoy’s free-agent visits were limited to the Browns, Ravens and Panthers, Hurney believes there were a significant number of teams interested in the 6-time Pro Bowler.

Former Buc teammate Demar Dotson said the chance to play against Tampa Bay twice a year was a major factor in McCoy’s decision to remain in the division.

The overwhelming reception McCoy received in Charlotte didn’t hurt, either. “Gerald had so much respect in our locker room before he ever put a foot in it,” Hurney said.

Enjoy TAMPA TWO with Bucs legend Derrick Brooks and The Sage, columnist Ira Kaufman, is back for a new episode diving into our beloved Buccaneers. It’s all presented by Caldeco Air Conditioning & Heating. And the great folks at The Identity Tampa Bay and Joe put it all together.


16 Responses to “My Chat With Panthers GM Marty Hurney”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    Ron can hook his riverboat up to his brand new GMC and cry me a river!!!!….

    down here, we toss losers overboard!!!!!!

    just ask smitty and @realist!!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    i guess the only way to close this losing chapter is by sweeping the panthers so we can finally move past all this GMC boohoo mess…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  3. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Panthers have a lot of question marks

    How do they transition to a 3-4?
    Is Cam healthy and can he survive a 16 game schedule?
    Will any of their young receivers become a #1?
    Is there pass rush improved?

    Let’s not act like they are a complete dominate team

  4. Jean Lafitte Says:

    ..and why not? GMC has secretly been playing for the Panthers all these years, so why wouldn’t they cheer when their native son came home?

  5. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    “Hurney said McCoy’s versatility will allow defensive coordinator Eric Washington to utilize him all across the line.”

    LOL whatever.
    Too bad McDressup wasn’t a big enough man to do that for his previous coaches without crying.

  6. common sense Says:

    Anyone that would “sleep” on the Panthers still is a complete fool. They are competitive year after year with a lot of roster turnover. It’s like saying don’t sleep on the Saints. Now Atlanta is definitely a team you can sleep on, they are trash!

  7. Go Bucs 72 Says:


  8. Clw JB Says:

    wait til he shows up in a kimono with his comic book collection in tow

  9. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Would absolutely LOVE to see GMC rack up four sacks, six QB hurries and five TFL’s against the Bucs this year. He deserves to give some payback and I hope he gets the chance.

  10. RustyRhinos Says:

    Wake up FlBoyInDallas your dreaming when has McCoy ever had a stat line like that. Ever? I cant recall him having a sack(s) and any other tackles for a loss.

  11. wausa Says:

    Why would a Bucs fan hope someone on another team destroys the Bucs??? Clearly you are not a Bucs fan.

  12. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    “Would absolutely LOVE to see GMC rack up four sacks, six QB hurries and five TFL’s”

    I think MeCoy will achieve those lofty goals but it will take 16 games to accomplish them. MeCoy’s career in Carolina will be one and done.

    I predict, the next time MeCoy appears at Tampa Stadium, he will have to buy
    a ticket like the rest of us Jabrones.

  13. kyle Says:

    McCoy is a traitor and can take his song and dance to the stinkin’ panthers for all I care.

  14. Buccfan37 Says:

    Just to prove the point to himself and his doubters McCoy will give it all he’s got against the Bucs and hopefully come up empty.

  15. Destinjohnny Says:

    Well let’s hope that McCoy doesn’t get any of the 4 sacks he gets this year off of us

  16. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    When sCam Newton stops making his teammates give up their TD footballs to fans, the stinking Panthers have a chance to be decent again. If I’m a Panther, no point of scoring a TD if the QB makes me give the ball away… That’s the main issue the Panthers have. Maybe McCoy can make his biggest impact with the Panthers by telling Cam to let the TD scorers do what they want with their TD balls…. that’s the only impact I see McCoy having with the stinking Panthers.