Fassel free to interview for NFL jobs

OWINGS MILLS -- Jim Fassel's consulting contract with the Baltimore Ravens expired Friday afternoon, allowing the former New York Giants coach to pursue prospective jobs.

Fassel has been mentioned as a candidate for the Cleveland Browns' coaching vacancy. He removed himself from consideration earlier this season for the Notre Dame and Stanford jobs, and is focused on becoming an NFL head coach again.

His senior consultant contract was intentionally slated for Dec. 31, so he would be available for interviews.

"That was by design to give Jim the latitude," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "He had legitimate concerns that he would be shut out from the interview process, and it gets heated up pretty quick. He's out from under the auspices of the organization and is free to interview."

Fassel worked closely with second-year quarterback Kyle Boller, concentrating his efforts on improving his mechanics and fundamentals.

Boller has improved his quarterback rating and overall production, going 8-7 as a starter in his second season after going 5-4 as a rookie.

"Coach Fassel is a great guy who knows the game, he really understands offense," wide receiver Travis Taylor said. "He brings a different dimension. He's been great for Kyle's development. If anybody has a coaching job open, they should call him up."

Fassel will have no formal role with the organization in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins. Billick didn't rule out that Fassel could possibly sign a short-term contract should Baltimore qualify for the playoffs.

"He's like any fan, he's got a ticket," Billick said. "He can come. He can't have any official interaction with the club. If we were to progress, we could make that happen. The idea is to give him the latitude to pursue any jobs that might come available."

As well as a being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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