NFL morning after: Greg Schiano is what his record says he is


I want to judge Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano solely based on the way his team has played on the field.

Let’s put aside the fact that Schiano had a dysfunctional relationship with his starting quarterback, Josh Freeman. And let’s not blame the head coach for the MRSA infections that have caused major concerns on the team. And let’s just say that stuff like trying to blow up the other team’s kneel-down formation is a gray area where reasonable people can disagree about whether it’s a legitimate tactic.

Instead, let’s assess Schiano, who is closing in on the midway point of his second season as an NFL head coach, by saying this: His team stinks.

The Buccaneers are 0-5 even though Schiano has been handed a roster that has plenty of talent. Vincent Jackson is one of the best receivers in the NFL. Doug Martin is one of the most explosive young running backs to enter the league in the last few years. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is a beast in the middle of the line. A secondary with veterans Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson, plus last year’s first-round pick Mark Barron and this year’s second-round pick Johnthan Banks, is the envy of almost every coach in the NFL. You can’t say Schiano is losing because his team doesn’t have the personnel to win.

What you can say is that Schiano doesn’t look like he has any coherent plan in place for molding all that talent into a good football team. Yes, yes, I know, Schiano wants to be “tough” and “physical” and “disciplined,” but does Schiano have a competent defensive scheme? It sure didn’t look that way on Sunday, when that talented secondary got lit up by a backup quarterback, Nick Foles, who went 22-for-31 for 296 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

And does Schiano have any plan for his offense? It sure doesn’t seem like it when he spends the entire offseason insisting that this is Josh Freeman’s team, then benches Freeman after three weeks and cuts him after four.

I could be persuaded that Schiano is a good coach who just needs time to turn things around if he had a good track record elsewhere. But the truth is, his track record at his only previous head-coaching job — at Rutgers — isn’t particularly impressive. In Schiano’s 11 seasons at Rutgers, his team never won the Big East and only finished in the Top 25 once.

The coach on the opposite sideline from Schiano on Sunday, Philadelphia’s Chip Kelly, also went from college to the NFL, but Kelly had coached a big-time winner at Oregon. In Kelly’s four seasons as head coach at Oregon, he won the conference championship three times and was never ranked worse than No. 11 in the country. Whether you think Kelly is going to succeed or fail at the next level, there’s no question that Kelly has shown he can win big at the college level. The same can’t be said for Schiano.

The old Bill Parcells saying, “You are what your record says you are,” is how Schiano deserves to be judged. And Schiano’s record says the Buccaneers have a winless and hapless coach.

Here are my other thoughts on Sunday in the NFL:

Joseph Fauria: NFL’s best undrafted rookie and best dancer? Fauria, the 6-foot-7 Detroit tight end, may be having the best season of any undrafted rookie in the league through six weeks. He’s been an outstanding red zone target for the Lions, and he reeled in three touchdown catches on Sunday in Cleveland. And Fauria’s touchdown celebration dancing is also amusing, having already drawn attention on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The dances he did on Sunday in Cleveland had his teammates cracking up in the end zone, and with his height and leaping ability, you can bet he’s going to go up and get a lot more touchdown passes in the future. Asked why Fauria has been successful in the red zone, Lions coach Jim Schwartz answered, “He’s tall as hell.” Sometimes that’s enough.

Vontaze Burfict needs to cool it with the personal fouls. Burfict, the Cincinnati linebacker, had 15-yard penalties for facemasking, for a hit on a sliding quarterback and for a hit on a defenseless receiver on Sunday. Burfict has been a terrific player for the Bengals since they signed him as an undrafted free agent last year, but the reason Burfict wasn’t drafted was that NFL teams didn’t think he could keep himself in check after developing a reputation as a hothead during his college career. Three personal fouls in a game is not acceptable.

Danny Amendola’s injury was frightening. Amendola, the Patriots’ No. 1 receiver, took a hard (but legal) hit to the head and fell face-first into the turf. When he got up, he couldn’t even walk straight. The Patriots immediately announced that he wouldn’t return to the game, and that looked like the kind of head injury that will sideline a player for more than just one game. Amendola is a talented receiver, but he simply hasn’t been able to stay healthy.

Baltimore needs Eugene Monroe to get better. Monroe, the left tackle the Ravens acquired in a trade with the Jaguars, whiffed on a block just before halftime, leading Joe Flacco to get blindsided and fumble, setting up a Packers field goal on the last play of the first half. That was one of the ugliest plays of the day, and a bad sign that trading for Monroe wasn’t close enough to fix the problems on the Ravens’ offensive line.

Can anyone explain what happened to the Texans? I don’t know if I can ever recall a team imploding quite the way Houston has. After Week 13 of last season, the Texans were 11-1, and a lot of people considered them the best team in the NFL. Since then they’ve gone 4-8, and seven of their eight losses were blowouts, including Sunday’s horrendous performance against the Rams. There have been no major coaching or personnel changes, and yet this team looks absolutely nothing like the good football team we saw in Houston a year ago. Gary Kubiak probably won’t last much longer in Houston. Like Schiano, Kubiak is going to be judged by his record, and his record isn’t good.

46 responses to “NFL morning after: Greg Schiano is what his record says he is

  1. Brilliant. Of course Schiano’s record is the story. It was his record at Rutgers that should have given the Rockstar at Glazer Park a clue especially since Schiano had already lived out his successes at Rutgers where his team was in a decline rather than a Chip Kelly blastoff. So you take a declining record with a hard ass attitude and leave us with the ugliest of all nightmares, Rockstar turns too Butch Davis in midstream. Oh, it could be worse, he could recruit George O’Leary or Skip Holz or Mack Brown. Thanks for squadoosh, Bucs.

  2. .

    Bill Belichick recommended Schiano for the job. Why not interview him and ask him if he wants to admit his mistake?


  3. So much for taking one’s time looking for a coach. Guess if you think last,act last you’ll BE last. Seems like all the best coaches are able to use the talent’s of their players to their fullest. A trait totally lacking in the 2 to 3 hundred coaches on the Bucs staff.

  4. I actually agree with your premise that Schiano does not appear to be cut out to be a successful head coach. But I do have to take issue with your comparison of their college records.

    There is no comparison between the situations Kelly and Schiano were in in college. Schiano took over one of the most wretched programs in college football, a perennial door mat that was underfunded and ignored in a part of the country where college football lagged in popularity behind well, just about everything. Their facilities were garbage. Major programs from around the country pick pocketed every decent recruit. They played a schedule that included every East Coast power with a roster that was one small step above Division 1-AA. Schiano turned all of that around. And having witnessed (but not being a Rutgers fan) I can tell you it was nothing short of a miracle.

    Kelly took over a program from a coach with a .678 winning percentage and 2 Big Ten Championships. Oregon is basically Nike University, with Phil Nike dumping 10’s of millions of dollars into the program. Their facilities are the best in the country. It’s one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. They could hire Rich Kotite as coach and kids would go there to play.

    And Kelly left under the cloud of an NCAA investigation.

    Again, no doubting your point about Schiano’s NFL ineptitude, I just thought the college comparison was a little unfair.

  5. I think Houston is cursed. The team inexplicably falls apart when they have a chance to win and then any player that gets sent away for under performing becomes a MVP to whatever team picks them up. We never had a chance.

  6. Schiano got the job also on Bill Belichecks recommendation which carries weight at a job interview.
    Its appears hes better working in the college ranks, the youngest NFL team are the Rams who are 3-3 so that excuse isnt available either. His personality, communication, manner, or whatever you want to call it is clearly a TURNOFF since the early wins last year. Also I don’t believe I’ve seen a player defend him publicly which would be huge red flag that coach doesnt have his teams confidence.

  7. Belichick probably doesn’t have a lot of regrets, but I bet letting Wes Welker go is one of them. So far signing Amendola has worked out exactly like everyone thought it would – great receiver that can’t stay healthy.

  8. I’m a sad Texans fan today. I’m in the midst of abject disbelief. You are exactly right: this team has imploded with no major personnel or coaching changes. I’m sad and angry that a couple thousand drunk losers at the game yesterday were disgraceful and are now the reason why Houston is being painted with an unfortunate broad brush. I’m a little angry at the players for not understanding that all Texan fans weren’t cheering Schaub’s injury. I wonder what Bob McNair must be feeling. If the Texans are embarrassed in Kansas City, he’ll have no choice but to make coaching changes during the open week.

    Thank God the Rockets will be good (hopefully?).

  9. realitypolice says:
    Oct 14, 2013 9:57 AM
    “…Kelly took over a program from a coach with a .678 winning percentage and 2 Big Ten Championships…”

  10. lks311 says:
    Oct 14, 2013 10:07 AM
    realitypolice says:
    Oct 14, 2013 9:57 AM
    “…Kelly took over a program from a coach with a .678 winning percentage and 2 Big Ten Championships…”


    They call that a “typo”. It happens. Thanks for pointing it out.

  11. The reality is, he’s just another poser Belichick-wannabe in the likes of McDaniels and Mangini. They try to be Bill- harsh, upfront and to the point, but that’s not who they are. Being fake is the WORST trait you can reveal to people.

  12. I literally have a bottle of champagne chilled, and I’m going to pop it the moment I hear Schiano has been fired. The “good” news is there were reports in the last few days he’s the one who leaked the news of Freeman being in Stage One of the NFL drug program; that’s a HIPAA violation, and means he’s going to be able to get fired with cause, and thereby not get paid the rest of his contract.

    He’s a terrible coach, this team plays sloppy and stupid regardless of all his talk about “disclipline” and being “well-coached”, and WHY ARE YOU PLAYING DARRELLE REVIS IN ZONE COVERAGE YOU TWIT.

    Greg Schiano is making me miss Raheem Morris as head coach. This makes me feel dirty.

  13. Schiano just cannot finish as a head coach. Every week of his run but 2 or 3 the Bucs have been right there, in every game. They just always find ways to lose which speaks to poor coaching adjustments and adaptation to situational football.

    The Bucs have hardly been awful during his run, they just have never been as good as they could be. Someone is going to be taking over a team similar to Seattle and San Francisco before they found their coaches. This is a playoff team in waiting, just need to find the right coach.

  14. As my family of 14 people sat around celebrating a birthday yesterday…….we were pondering the question, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TEXANS? It can’t all be blamed on Schaub, or even just the offense. But we had no answers either!

  15. The macro point that Chip Kelly had success at Oregon, esp compared to Schiano’s lack of success at Rutgers, is totally fair.

    But let’s remember – Kelly went 2-2 in bowl games. He never won anything of substance at the college level. His teams were rated high and scored a lot, but Oregon has zero trophies to show for it. Just sayin.

  16. the way the 1st half was going for Ravens they should have just taken a knee before the 1/2.the
    play befeore had everyone so confused knee was the only answer

  17. Blame the GM. He traded a high draft pick (Sheldon Richardson) and $16 Million cash for man corner in a zone system!

    Sheldon Richardson and $16M to spend in free agency would’ve filled like 4 or 5 holes in their starting lineup.

  18. Tampas problem are the troll looking Glazer family
    Houston’s problem is that kubiak has never been a good head coach. He’s had two good years where they chocked in the playoffs and underachieved the rest of the years

  19. Please STOP using the words “STARTING” and “Josh Freeman” in the same sentence. Freeman is not a starter in the NFL, and take a look at the crop of kids coming in next year…Freeman might have seen his last days of action as a starting QB

  20. Please STOP using the words “STARTING” and “Josh Freeman” in the same sentence. Freeman is not a starter in the NFL, and take a look at the crop of kids coming in next year…Freeman might have seen his last days of action as a starting QB

    Freeman will be a starter in the future; he has shown actual talent in the past, and that’s just too tantalizing for the endless series of self-described “geniuses” who run NFL teams. Somebody, somewhere is going to decide they can “fix” him, and he’ll be starting again.

    Look at the people who started NFL games yesterday–Mike Glennon, Nick Foles, Thad Lewis, Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassell, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. You cannot tell me that some coach somewhere is going to look at the success Josh Freeman has had in the past, and decide they’d rather start a career backup-quality guy like Cassell or Fitzpatrick instead of him.

    Yeah, Freeman has been erratic and inconsistent, but part of that means he’s waffled between “awful” and “good”, and somebody is going to think to themselves “I can totally make him good again”. He’ll be employed for a long time, and get a chance to start more than once just because of that attitude.

  21. The Texans look like that Oilers team back in the mid 90’s that was possibly the league’s best with Warren Moon at QB but faced Joe Montana in his last brilliant playoff run, which was the one QB they didn’t need to face with Buddy Ryan’s blitz happy style. The next year, the wheels fell off, and it was years before they returned to prominence (in another city mind you).

    Best thing to do is to cut the cord with Kubiak who has never been that good to me and Schaub who is pretty mediocre. Also, it’s been well established that the zone blocking scheme that Kubiak employes needs to leave town with him because it’s shortcomings without Hall of Fame type talent such as Elway to overcome it’s red zone deficiencies are apparent by now. There is a reason that Mike Shanahan had 1 playoff win using a similar philosophy without Elway at his side to hide the scheme’s weaknesses against other good teams.

  22. Schiano was the text book example of over-correcting. Raheem Morris was too much a players’ coach so they figured an uber-disciplinarian would whip things into shape. Too bad for them, he’s such a jerk nobody will give their all to play for him plus they got the added bonus of him not actually knowing the game well enough to succeed in the NFL.

  23. “Vontaze Burfict needs to cool it with the personal fouls.”….

    The facemask I understand I guess since it was the QB but I’m betting you never even saw the other two happen, only the stat line. Those 2 personal fouls were iffy at best but thats what you get when you go undrafted because of your college rep for 1 bad year. Yes he’s already had 6 15 yard penalties this year (3 yesterday) but lets not forget that last he he was called for 3 penalties total & none were 15 yarders. He’s playing the same exact way as last year. I’m getting real tied of these refs not letting these guys play football. Look at his 2 personal fouls yesterday & then let me know what you think.

    (If this post actually goes through)

  24. It looks like Vontaze is going Vontaze. We knew it wouldn’t be long before he started to become a personal foul machine. Now he has a target on his back by opposing players and referees just waiting for him to blow his lid again. No doubt he’s talented, but his inability to control his emotions makes him a liability on the field. Just like in college, a tiger (Bengal) can’t change his stripes.

    Mr. Suh and Mr. Incognito, you have a new challenger for the title of the NFL’s Dirtiest Player.

  25. I’m not sure what’s going on in Tampa. I watched the whole game, not that I’m a Tampa fan, but living here on the Space Coast of Florida, that’s the game the local station was carrying. Nick Foles looked really good. Mike Glennon is a work in progress and he needs some more time. Josh Freeman had 5 years and that’s long enough to mature into a good QB, which he didn’t. Oversleeping during a team photo event? Really? I can’t speak to Greg Schiano’s coaching style, but it’s definitely not working, because the team has a lot of discipline problems on the field. The Jets game earlier in the season was an excellent example where they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, because of stupid penalties. I lived in Tampa area for 7 years and Glazers are a whole different can of worms. The botched firing of Tony Dungy comes to mind – I was there and I remember it all. Thank the stars that Dungy went on to have great success in Indianapolis with one of the greatest QBs of all time. The hiring of Raheem Morris was a joke. I’m not sure why the Glazers’ hired Schiano, unless they got him on the cheap and can fire him at any time. Schiano’s tenure at TB may be much shorter than most people realize, but unike Jacksonville, which has the same record, the Bucs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Jaguars future is much more tenuous, despite the assurances from their new owner. I’m just happy that my team in South Florida finally picked a first round QB last year, who appears to be paying dividends. Maybe our long drought since Marino’s retirement is finally over. Go Phins.

  26. Vontaze is not a dirty player , guy plays a 100mph sometimes you make mistakes. But 2 out of those 3 penaltys were not deserved yesterday . Look up leading tackler in the NFL . Taze is top 5 .

  27. Don’t look at the stats. Only 1 of those personal fouls were legit. The other two were head scratchers by most who saw them.

  28. Shiano is a horrible coach, however, more importantly he is garbage as a human being. This combination is not good for an NFL team. He has crushed the Buccaneers with his coaching, his lying, and his poor decision making. He needs to go today and take that dirt-bag, Mark Dominik with him.

  29. Yes, I explained already that the Texans failed to set up their roster this offseason and should have done a lot of trades to reconfigure. If they went with my ideas they could have put themselves into being front runners for the SB for a long-time, instead they shot themselves in the foot and starting devolving backwards instead of using logic to force an instillation of more progress.

    Classic mistakes of a poor NFL GM. Lots of teams have this issue. But they don’t get it because they are the wrong people.

  30. Two of the three personal fouls called on Burfict were flimsy at best, the defenseless receiver call was an outright miss by the officiating crew, horrible call. The kid plays with passion and is as talented as any linebacker in the league. I understand player safety is job one these days but some of the officials need to learn to leave the flag in the pocket sometimes.

  31. Bill Belichick recommended Schiano for the job. Why not interview him and ask him if he wants to admit his mistake?
    If Belichick recommended this guy then there should be an immediate spygate investigation to NFC teams. Schiano is probably on the Pats payroll.

  32. Yes, Schiano has failed as an NFL head coach. Yes, it’s been pretty painful and pretty pathetic. But can we please stop misrepresenting his work at Rutgers? His 68-67 record is a case where the numbers lie.

    At Rutgers, Schiano inherited a truly awful program. His predecessor, Terry Shea, had posted a 12-43 record in five years. It took Schiano a while to build a winning team, but he did. After four sub-.500 seasons to begin his tenure, he posted only one losing record from 2005 until his departure following the 2011 season.

    Yes, he’s an easy target right now, but his record at Rutgers doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s not pretend that it does.

  33. Apparently, the NFL has informed Burfict that 2 of the 3 personal foul penalties (the hit on a sliding quarterback, and the hit on a defenseless receiver) shouldn’t have been flagged on the field. And if PFT had seen those two plays, they wouldn’t have bothered calling Burfict out.

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