Greg Schiano separated himself from every other new NFL head coach who spent Sunday on the sideline. He won.
The first-year guy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watched his defense shut down Cam Newton and post a 16-10 win over the Carolina Panthers.
“It’s all about the players, their commitment to doing what we ask them to do,” said Schiano, who spent the previous 11 seasons as the coach at Rutgers, where he turned a perennial loser into a Big East contender.
Tampa Bay won all of four games last year, fired coach Raheem Morris and brought in Schiano hoping he can turn the Bucs into a playoff contender.
While Schiano is 1-0 heading into next Sunday’s “homecoming” game at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants, the other newbies — all six of ‘em — are 0-1 after Sunday.
Schiano could have company in the new-coach-wins-debut club Monday night if Dennis Allen’s Raiders can beat the Chargers.
Chuck Pagano, Colts
A visit to Soldier Field turned into a 41-21 loss to the Bears, but the former Ravens defensive coordinator should be somewhat upbeat after his franchise QB, Andrew Luck, threw for 209 yards, a touchdown to go along with three interceptions.
Mike Mularkey, Jaguars
This was a tough one to lose. Blaine Gabbert threw a 39-yard TD pass with 20 seconds left, and a 2-point conversion put Mularkey’s team up 23-20. But zip, zip. The Vikings tied it on a 55-yard field goal at the end of regulation, and won it on a 38-yarder in OT.
Joe Philbin, Dolphins
This was no surprise, with the Texans winning easily, 30-10. Philbin, offensive coordinator for the Packers last year, has a lot of rebuilding to do in South Florida, beginning with rookie QB Ryan Tannehill, who had a rough outing — 20 for 36 for 219 yards and three interceptions.
Jeff Fisher, Rams
After 16 seasons coaching the Titans, plus a year off, Fisher at least has a veteran QB to work with — Sam Bradford is in his third year. A tough way to lose, too, 26-23 to the Lions after allowing Matt Stafford’s 5-yard TD pass to Kevin Smith with 10 seconds left.
Aaron Kromer, Saints
This is a special case, but it counts. Kromer is the interim for suspended Joe Vitt, who was the interim for suspended Sean Payton for their roles in Saints bountygate. Bottom line: New coach loses even with Drew Brees at quarterback — 40-32 to the Redskins, with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III leading the way with 320 yards and two touchdowns in his debut.
Romeo Crennel, Chiefs
He did such a good job as interim after Todd Haley was fired last year, he got to keep the job. And he also got to watch his team get hammered by Matt Ryan and the Falcons, 40-24. KC was missing three starters on defense, but Crennel was in full coachspeak mode afterward:
“The fact that they weren’t there, really no one cares,” he said, “because all anyone wants to know is did you win or did you lose, and we lost today.”
Follow Richard Rosenblatt on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/rosenblattap
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