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Fassel Q&A - read between the lines

<P>"It's been a disappointing year. It starts with me and I will evaluate the team. Somehow and somewhere, we left this season short. I am not happy with the way we ended this season. They gave good effort, but somewhere we left this season short. We made too many mistakes and we didn't perform at a level that I was satisfied with. </P>

I will start this week with an evaluation of everything in this organization and the way we do things."

 Have the off season moves already started in your head?

Yes they have.

What went wrong this season?

It's hard to put your finger on the problem. The first thing you must understand is, there are some things that I internalize that I don't verbalize because it sounds like an excuse. When I took this job, I said I never wanted to do that kind of thing. This team has worked hard. I've got some things I won't tell you now, when we got started, I was a little nervous that we'd gotten shaken early on. We lost our focus.

In the beginning of the year we started 3-1, but we're not playing well. I thought we were just getting over the attacks. We just started to pick it up. They fought hard, but lost a couple of games by 1 that were heart breakers. I never felt like we were the same.

You mention you were nervous about the beginning of the year, were you nervous over the team's mental focus or personnel?

 I thought they worked hard. In training camp, the guys worked hard. you get nervous with the sense of urgency issues.

How much did the tragedy wear on the team?

I don't know. It was hard for anybody to concentrate. I'm sure it wasn't easy for you guys to write an article. A lot of coaches that come in here talk about the tragedy. A couple of Packers went over to Ground Zero and asked how did we deal with it. I don't know. I know for a while it was hard for all of us to concentrate. We have to get through this thing.

You had three tight games go the wrong way this year...

 I can only look at it as you are what you are. Everybody has games they look back on and says there are games you could have won. It's hard for me to do that now. I don't know a coach you talk to that says once you get on a roll, you can cut the team loose and let them play. It's a self fulfilling prophecy. We were struggling and struggling for wins. I felt we weren't feeling good about ourselves. I was nervous about that. we were 3-1, but we weren't feeling good about our selves. We didn't feel real confident. The we got kicked in the teeth back to back. That combined with 3-1 and we still didn't feel confident. That worried me at that point.

Can you share with us some of the changes for next season?

 No I can't.

Why did you not call timeouts at the end of the Packers game?

I'll keep that to myself.

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