- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sat down in his office Sunday night with Marty Hurney and posed two questions to the franchise’s longtime general manager: Why are the Panthers 1-5 and when are they going to get better?

Hurney said he couldn’t give him an honest answer for either question.

The following morning Richardson made the tough decision to fire Hurney, who has been with the team since 1998 and the GM for the past 11 years.

The move came one day after star quarterback Cam Newton expressed his frustration following Carolina’s fourth straight defeat, a 19-14 loss to Dallas.

Hurney took full responsibility for the team’s failures.

“Words don’t keep your job, actions do,” Hurney said. “The bottom line is we were 1-5. We’re 1-3 at home.

“We laid in egg in front of the Giants on national TV (a 36-7 loss) and came back the last two weeks and lost against teams we felt like we had a good chance to beat. It can’t continue to go this way,” he said.

Marty made every effort to bring success to the Panthers and took the team to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games,” Richardson said in a statement. “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.”

Richardson spent most of Monday in meetings and talking to people around the league he confides in.

Hurney said he doesn’t expect his replacement will be named until after the season, but he’s not completely sure.

There’s a chance Richardson could bring in an older, more experienced former general manager to advise him on the direction of the franchise and give him an honest evaluations of the players in the interim.

One of the people Richardson’s trusts the most is former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi. He’s also close friends with the Rooney family in Pittsburgh.

In the meantime, Brandon Beane, the team’s director of football operations, will handle day-to-day football matters until a new GM is hired. And coach Ron Rivera said when it comes to personnel decisions he’ll have final say in matters for now.

“If a decision has to be made involving the football team and players, it will all stop with me,” Rivera said, who added he was surprised by the move.

Rivera said at this point no assistant coaches have been fired, but he wouldn’t rule that out.

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