After Mondays bombshell announcement that general manager Marty Hurney had been fired six games into the season, the Panthers tried to return to normalcy Tuesday.
Players had the day off. Coaches continued game-planning for this weekends game at Chicago.
And the team took the first steps toward finding Hurneys successor.
The Panthers are expected to hire an outside consultant to run the search, two league sources said Tuesday.
A number of former NFL coaches and executives have done consulting work with teams previously.
The list includes former New York Giants defensive coordinator Ernie Accorsi, a consultant for the league; former Green Bay general manager Ron Wolf; Andrew Brandt, ESPNs NFL business analyst who formerly worked in the Packers front office; and ex-Kansas City president/general manager Carl Peterson, who advised Miami owner Steve Ross last winter when the Dolphins hired Joe Philbin as head coach.
Any consultant hired by owner Jerry Richardson would come to Charlotte to examine the football operations, attend practices and watch video of a team whose 1-5 start led to Hurneys dismissal.
Hurney, who was in his 11th season as the Panthers GM, said he would continue to talk with Richardson, though not necessarily in an official capacity.
This is a process. I dont think you can interview (candidates) until the seasons over, Hurney said Monday. Thats certainly up to him. I know Mr. Richardson well enough that hes going to get the advice of people that he trusts and make the right decision.
NFL rules prohibit the Panthers from interviewing officials with other teams until the end of the season.
Richardson has not spoken publicly about what characteristics or experience level hes looking for in his next general manager. One industry insider said Tuesday that given Hurneys business-side background he managed the Panthers salary cap before becoming GM the Panthers could look for someone with a strong scouting background.
Three young executives with scouting experience Dolphins assistant GM Brian Gaine, Minnesota assistant GM George Paton, and Tennessee vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson all interviewed for the GM position at St. Louis last year before the Rams hired Les Snead.
Baltimore assistant GM Eric DeCosta started as an area scout with the Ravens before moving up through their personnel department. DeCosta, 41, was named one of the top young stars in the sports industry in 2005.
The Panthers also must decide whether to hire a GM and retain head coach Ron Rivera, or start fresh with a new GM and coaching staff. The next 10 weeks will factor heavily in that decision.
Most of the Panthers problems have come on offense. Quarterback Cam Newton has regressed from his Rookie of the Year form in 2011 while directing an offense that has failed to establish an identity.
Rivera indicated Monday that changes are coming for his team but did not elaborate. Rivera, who has two years remaining after this season on the four-year deal he signed in January 2011, understands hes under close scrutiny.
Im here. Im going to continue to work and do the best I can, and well go from there, Rivera said. This is an evaluation. We do things, and what we expect to do is have success. Its a production business. Were going to change things and make things different and do the best we can to put ourselves in position to have success.
NOTES: The Panthers claimed second-year linebacker Doug Hogue off waivers from Detroit to fill the roster spot created when cornerback Chris Gamble was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. After losing Kenny Onatolu (torn triceps) for the season last week, the Panthers needed another special teams player.
Hogue, the Lions fifth-round pick from Syracuse in 2011, also gives the Panthers linebacker depth while Jon Beason nurses a knee injury. Hogue had two tackles for the Lions.