Giants game has special meaning for Ravens' Fassel

OWINGS MILLS -- For Jim Fassel, this isn't just another football game. No matter what he says.<br><br>The Baltimore Ravens' senior consultant was the New York Giants' head coach until his players quit on him and he was fired by owner Wellington Mara during a 4-12 campaign that ended with eight consecutive losses. <br><br>Fassel took the high road this week in a conference call with reporters who cover the Giants heading into Sunday's game at M&T Bank Stadium between Baltimore and New York.

"Usually what happens, coaches carry all the bad baggage out the door with you supposedly," said Fassel, who posted a 60-56-1 mark in New York. "I'm not going to respond to anything about the Giants. The one thing I've learned in this business, if you're ever going to be successful, you've got to move on."

The Giants fired Fassel with one year remaining on his contract and would have owed him $2.7 million. Working for Ravens coach Brian Billick, his friend and one-time Super Bowl counterpart, Baltimore is paying Fassel $200,000, offsetting part of the Giants' costs.

Fassel is in the hunt for an NFL head coaching position and has been working on a manual 200 to 300 pages long that represents his philosophy. This week, he dismissed speculation about any interest in jobs at Notre Dame and Stanford.

"I'm not taking a cavalier attitude about it," Fassel said. "I know how hard it is to get one. Everyone around me says you're going to get one but they might want a young guy, a coordinator. Ozzie Newsome told me teams want the opposite of whatever they just had. I just don't want to go anywhere and not win.

"At the end of the season, I think the Ravens will have helped me as probably as much as I've helped them."

Fassel has been working part-time with the Ravens, mostly as a mentor for second-year quarterback Kyle Boller, and will be at Sunday's game.

Fassel figures to be of some assistance to Baltimore because of his familiarity with the Giants' players, even though he insists he's been too busy to watch his hold team this season.

"I'm sure it can be an advantage in terms of the personnel information and data," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.
Actually, the most difficult thing for Fassel is working for the Ravens with all of the Super Bowl XXXV paraphernalia, including the Vince Lombardi trophy in the lobby, at the team's training complex.

"The hardest part for me, and [Brian] kids me about it, I say I'm tired of walking around this building and seeing the Super Bowl trophy and the world championship banner and this and that, pictures of the game," Fassel said. "Can we take some of that stuff down?"

Aaron Wilson is the chief writer for RavensInsider.Com He is also the Ravens' reporter for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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