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Gross, Smith react to Hurney's departure

Posted Oct 22, 2012

CHARLOTTE – Panthers captain Jordan Gross understands the pressure to perform in the NFL, and he knows losing forces change.

The Panthers lack of success ultimately led to the dismissal of longtime general manager Marty Hurney on Monday.

"It's rough news. Marty personally drafted me here 10 years ago. A great administrator, a great friend. He gave everything to the organization. I think everybody knows that," Gross said.

"It makes me feel really bad that he's gone because it's a reflection of our record, which is a reflection of the team. I feel like we let him down."

After a win over the Saints in Week 2 gave the Panthers a 1-1 record to start the 2012 season, Carolina has lost four straight games.

"This business is a performance business, and we all know in this locker room that if we don't win more there are going to be a lot of changes," Gross said.

Still, Gross was shocked to learn Hurney had been fired midway through his 11th season as general manager.

"Very surprised. That's a big move," Gross said. "You make a change like that at the top, everybody notices that. I was surprised to see that happen. It's just tough, and if we would have won more games it wouldn't have happened. It's hard to handle."

Fellow-team captain Steve Smith said Hurney's firing is a "nasty part of the business" and spoke highly of Hurney and his work in the Panthers' front office.

"I respect Marty, I always have and I always will. He's done a lot of great things," Smith said. "If you work in any business long enough you are going to be let go. Tough deal, but I have the utmost respect for him."

"When we win or lose, it doesn't fall on one person," Smith added. "Sometimes things happen."