Jump to content

Luke Kuechly Photos

- - - - -

One hire...or two?

Oct 24 2012 02:49 AM Mr. Scot Carolina Panthers
Look over the staff of most NFL teams and you'll see someone with the title "Director of Player Personnel". In the majority of management models, this is the guy who oversees all scouting and talent evaluation at both the college and pro level. What differentiates them from a GM or an assistant GM is that they don't necessarily do any actual management, only evaluation.

And yes, the Panthers used to have one of those. The last one was Jack Bushofsky, who retired in 2003 leaving Marty Hurney pretty much running the whole show.

Fast forward to today and you'll see the Panthers staff directory lists a Director of College Scouting (Don Gregory), a Director of Pro Scouting (Mark Koncz), a Director of Team Administration (Rob Rogers, the cap guy), a Director of Football Operations (Brandon Beane, a logistics guy from what little I've been able to find on him ) and - at least up until recently - a General Manager.

But no Director of Player Personnel.

So if the choice were yours, would you want to have a 'chief evaluator' back in the fold, allowing the new GM to focus on roster building and cap management, or is the notion of having that extra guy in the front office seem redundant and you'd rather just have the GM handle all of it?

Add Comment

26 Comments

:: before

Interesting bit. I though Hurney had an assistant.
Two.
Photo
Herbert The Love Bug
Oct 24 2012 03:07 AM
I'd take the two. The less one person has to worry about and focus on, the better for everyone.
Two. And I thought the same thing... that Hurney had an assistant of some sort.
Thank you Mr. Scot for a worthwhile post. This place has been overwhelmed with garbage. Two minds are always better than one. That is only if those two minds agree on things. You do not want conflict in the front office.
I would like the GM to be heavy in finance and cap management with the director being heavy in talent evaluation.

Winning teams are built on spreadsheets in this league.
I would imagine these two individuals would not remain coequals even if it started out that way.

That being the case, I would prefer the talent evaluator to be at the top of the decision making food chain.

Hurney is a painful reminder of what happens when the ultimate decision maker is a poor judge of talent.

Hurney is a painful reminder of what happens when the ultimate decision maker is a poor judge of talent.



Thats what Hurney was though, a talent evaluator. What we got was sub par talent at high prices.


The problem with talent evaluators at the top is that they are attached to players for reasons of pride. Its difficult for them to admit they were wrong and stick with players far too long after shelling out way to much money to retain them.

With the GM on the finance side, less emotional and prideful attachment will be there, if a player is not performing...thats on the director. There will be less of an inclination to stick with a player for no other reason than he was a high draft pick or we mistakenly gave him a truck load of cash.

Thats what Hurney was though, a talent evaluator. What we got was sub par talent at high prices.


The problem with talent evaluators at the top is that they are attached to players for reasons of pride. Its difficult for them to admit they were wrong and stick with players far too long after shelling out way to much money to retain them.

With the GM on the finance side, less emotional and prideful attachment will be there, if a player is not performing...thats on the director. There will be less of an inclination to stick with a player for no other reason than he was a high draft pick or we mistakenly gave him a truck load of cash.


I was thinking more along the lines of auto industry bean counters that override the engineers, resulting in cars like the Pinto with exploding fuel tanks.

I would have never guessed Hurney was hired for his abilities to evaluate talent.

He definitely seemed to hang on to his draft picks well beyond their expiration dates and pay them like pro bowlers.

You make a compelling case for the money guy being in charge. Time will tell.

Hopefully the new front office personnel turn out to be a vast improvement over what the Panthers have grown accustom to. They already have a deep enough hole to climb out of as it is.
Who ever we hire I want them to be ruthless pricks with no loyalty to individual players - I want them only to be looking at how a move will help this team win football games. That has always been a major fault of this outfit - putting individuals over the team.

Who ever we hire I want them to be ruthless pricks with no loyalty to individual players - I want them only to be looking at how a move will help this team win football games. That has always been a major fault of this outfit - putting individuals over the team.


I agree.

I would also like two. Checks and balances need to be in place.

Interesting bit. I though Hurney had an assistant.


Two. And I thought the same thing... that Hurney had an assistant of some sort.


No assistant GM that I know of, but Rob Rogers was the "cap guy".
I'd like to see two purely because I think our net value will be higher if we go that route. A very good talent guy plus a very good finance / cap / contract guy is going to leave us better in both areas, more than likely, than one guy who does both.

The fields are so disparate that we'd almost definitely have to lower the bar to get two in one.

I would like the GM to be heavy in finance and cap management with the director being heavy in talent evaluation.

Winning teams are built on spreadsheets in this league.


See, I'm just the opposite. I'd rather have the football guy in the GM spot, then give him an experienced finance guy to help with the economics.

Guess when you think about it, you're really talking about three positions here: A chief evaluator, a cap manager, and a GM over the two. It's still only two hires though because we technically already have a cap guy in Rob Rogers, unless you want to replace him with someone who has more experience (and I could get behind that).

When it comes to the ultimate authority though, to me that has to be the football guy. I understand what you mean about GMs getting tied to their players (Hurney was bad about that) but there are guys out there who are capable of taking the "not personal, it's business" approach.

They just don't work here.

See, I'm just the opposite. I'd rather have the football guy in the GM spot, then give him an experienced finance guy to help with the economics.



We have had that since 2003. Lets try something new. :)

We have had that since 2003. Lets try something new. :)


Hurney was the cap guy before he was the GM. Rob Rogers has that role now, but I doubt he gets a look for the GM spot (not with a consultant running the show).

As far as trying to pin down whether Hurney was a football guy or a finance guy, given that his background was as a sportswriter and he worked his way up through the PR department before moving into the other roles, I guess the correct answer is "neither" :(

Hurney was the cap guy before he was the GM.



A cap guy with zero experience or education in high level finance and contract negotiation?

A cap guy with zero experience or education in high level finance and contract negotiation?


Pretty much. And likewise, can't find info to verify it, but I've been told that Mark Koncz (head of pro scouting) was hired out of the ticket sales department.

If the consultant has the latitude to examine the entire football operation (which I believe he will) then one of the things he might want to nix is the hiring of guys for jobs in which they have no background.

A cap guy with zero experience or education in high level finance and contract negotiation?


From the Panthers official web site:

Hurney joined the Panthers in 1998 from the San Diego Chargers and managed the salary cap under head coaches Dom Capers and George Seifert. As general manager, Hurney oversees the salary cap while coordinating the different areas of football operations with head coach Ron Rivera and the team's college and pro scouting departments.
Hurney first caught the eye of former Washington Redskins Owner Jack Kent Cooke as a reporter covering the team's championship runs in the 1980s. Developing an association with Cooke, head coach Joe Gibbs and general manager Bobby Beathard, Hurney joined the Redskins public relations department in 1988. In 1990, Hurney moved with Beathard to San Diego, serving as the general manager's assistant with responsibilities that included organizing the scouting department and player contracts and overseeing the day-to-day football administration.
With the advent of the salary cap in 1993, Hurney emerged as the club's specialist in compliance management to the agreement, earning distinction as both an administrator and negotiator and playing an integral role in San Diego's AFC Championship in 1994.
I'm with Zod on this... it's been an issue, us drafting players and holding on to them too long and/or giving them outrageous contracts seemingly based on the fact that the guy that drafted them (Hurney) didn't want to give up on them. Get some separation between the financial side and the talent/evaluation side of the football operations. The talent/scout guys work with the coaches to evaluate players and the GM works with the owner to pay the players and holds the scouts and coaches accountable.
Does it really matter that much whether there is a football guy or a numbers guy as the titled GM as long as there is a 2nd hire who specializes in the other and the GM knows where his own strengths lie / listens to the advice of the other in the area where he isn't strong? Functionally, as long as the two work as a team and it's not a dysfunctional relationship, the end results shouldn't be too disparate.

In either case it won't be fair to project the Hurney era problem of keeping players too long onto the new guy, financial minded or talent minded, because that's a problem with the person not their training. A good front office won't hold onto players out of loyalty past their useful life and certainly won't give them raises to stay long past their prime.

If we end up going with a single hire, and not a GM with one specialty / director with the other tandem, then our available talent pool becomes a lot smaller and I don't really know where I make the sacrifice. I guess I try to quantify and hire the guy with the highest combined talent level.
2 - so we as fans can blame one extra guy who never steps on the field as opposed to the offense and the players that fail to execute

Thats what Hurney was though, a talent evaluator. What we got was sub par talent at high prices.


The problem with Hurney is that he was attached to players for reasons of pride. Its difficult for him to admit he was wrong and sticks with players far too long after shelling out way to much money to retain them.


If he failed at talent AND the finacial side seems JR held onto him for too long.

I would like the GM to be heavy in finance and cap management with the director being heavy in talent evaluation.

Winning teams are built on spreadsheets in this league.


I think you are absolutely correct.
I don't know that anyone can guarantee a finance guy will be ruled less by his ego than a football guy.

I'd still prefer the final call on any decision be made by a football guy, not an accountant.