Panthers GM Marty Hurney sat down with The Observer's Tom Sorensen earlier today and basically told fans that - contrary to popular belief - he is aware that the team has problems that desperately need to be solved, and he even stepped up to the plate and shouldered some of the blame for the team's lack of...well everything.
As you all know, CSR is always on top of breaking stories within the Panthers organization, even though we normally don't have an inside track on the inner workings of the franchise. Well, today that changed, as we were able to capture a very candid meeting between Hurney, Head Coach Ron Rivera, and Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski in which they discussed the best way going forward to get the team out of their funk and start winning football games.
I can't reveal to you how we were able to get this information*, because if I do then someone within the organization would lose their job. I don't want that to happen to my super secret inside source*, because then I won't be able to provide you guys with exclusive scoops like this one, and I will have also wasted my money in bribing my source with all those BoBerries that I could have eaten myself.
At any rate, the following conversation totally happened, and it's copied directly from the back of the Bojangles napkin that my super secret source gave me when we met up a little less than an hour ago.
Hurney: Thank you for meeting with me gentlemen. We have a lot to discuss, so let's get started. Ron, how do you feel about the direction the team is going?
[Rivera has a blank stare on his face so apathetic that it makes his game day face look like his O-Face.]
Rivera: I think we're doing a fine job so far. Our players have made some key mistakes in critical moments, but other than a few monumental screw ups that have cost us three games, we're doing well.
Hurney: Well, yeah Ron. That's kind of the problem.
Rivera: Well, don't look at me; I'm just the coach. I don't call plays or anything.
Hurney: Have you thought that maybe you should call plays every once in a while Ron?
Rivera: Well, I thought that's why we brought the wonder kid here, so I don't have to worry about things like that. I mean, if I have to actually think about what's going on during the game, I can't stand on the sideline with my stoic facial expression that impresses all the ladies.
Chud: Hey! Who are you calling wonder kid?! My nickname is Professor, Chico!
Hurney: Settle down, children. We have serious work to do.
Rivera: Yeah, you heard the man. Let's get to work!
Chud: Ok, so what do you suggest we do Marty?
Hurney: Well, Rob, it goes like this: I paid 80 million of JR's hard earned dollars for three running backs, and you're treating them like dental floss.
Chud [with a puzzled look on his face]: I'm not sure I follow.
Hurney: Rob, you're showing them off to us to let us know you have them, and when we tell you to use them you do it for a few days. After those few days, you stick them in the back of your mind and you stop using them. It's like how you do with dental floss: you show the dentist that you have it, and after you go to the dentist you use it for a few days and then you stick it in the back of your medicine cabinet with the Q-Tips and Preparation H until the next time you have to go to the dentist. It makes sense, right?
Chud: Umm, no. It doesn't make any sense at all.
Hurney: Well, excuse me professor. I'm not good at the analogy thing. Nine years with Foxy will do that to ya. The bottom line is this: if you don't use the running backs that JR paid 80 million of his hard earned dollars for, you're going to have a problem.
Chud: But I do use them!
Rivera: Yeah, he does use them!
Hurney: Did you not read the interview I gave with Sorensen today? I said the running backs should set the tone for the game. Why is this so hard for you to understand?
Chud: But, I...I have Cam and he likes to run the read-option, and when it works it looks so damn good.
Hurney: BUT IT'S NOT WORKING ROB! WE SUCK RIGHT NOW!
Rivera: Oooh, he mad...
Hurney: Shut up, Ron, before I fire you and replace you with McDermott!
Chud: So what do you want me to do Marty?
Hurney: I want you to run the damn ball some more Rob. Use the I-Formation. Use Tolbert as the FB that we signed him to be.
Chud: The I-Formation...what's that?
Hurney: Are you serious? You don't know what the I-Formation is?! Ron, I thought you told me this kid was some kind of offensive genius.
Rivera: Yeah, about that...I only told you that because he begged me to bring him with me so he could get away from Norv Turner. That guy's a little creepy, you know what I mean?
Hurney: No, I don't know what you mean Ron. Norv happens to be a very good friend of mine.
Rivera: Sorry Marty. I didn't know that Norv had any friends.
Hurney: Watch it, Ron.
Chud: Ooh...Ooh! I've got it! This is what we can do. We can line Cam up in the shotgun formation with D-Will on one side, Stewart on the other, and Tolbert at TE. We can snap the ball to D-Will, and then he can then throw it across the field to Tolbert, who can lateral it to Stewart, who can then throw it downfield to a wide open Cam, who can then hand it off to Smitty. Touchdown. Every. Single. Time.
Hurney [holding his face in his palm]: I...I really don't know what to say. Just do me a favor Rob. Run the damn ball. I'm tired of staring at JR's clock every time we lose, and I'm tired of taking the blame for your stupid plays that don't work. I brought you players...good players, and you're treating them like the mud on the bottom of your shoe. So please, I'm begging you...no, I'm ordering you to run the damn ball, or else next time YOU will be the one to deal with JR.
Chud: Ok, ok. Fine, we'll run the ball more. Does the QB option draw play count?
Hurney: GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE NOW!
[Rivera and Chud scurry out of Hurney's office as quickly as possible, nearly knocking my super secret source onto his back in the process.]
So, Panthers fans - have no fear. In two weeks when we play the Cowboys, we'll see more running plays and everything will be back to normal in Panther land. After we throttle Dallas and right the ship, these first five games will be nothing more than a distant memory, and we'll look back on them and laugh at how stupid Chud was for wanting to be too cute with the offense instead of using the three headed monster like JR intended.
I have it on good authority that this recap of events is 100% accurate*, and let's be honest - it absolutely most likely probably did happen just like this.
* You really didn't think this was serious, did you?