Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Poor, Poor Jim Fassel

Poor Jim Fassel. He seems like a nice enough guy and on the surface a capable coach. He guided his 2000 Giants into the Super Bowl and into the playoffs on more than one occasion. So why is it that since being fired by the Giants the man has never been anything more than a fall back option for a team that runs out of coaching options? He’s become the willing girl next door who will be more than happy to accompany you to the prom when all of the hot cheerleaders are already spoken for.

Fassel sits today, scratching his head and pretending that his fall from grace in the coaching ranks is everyone’s fault but his. Maybe it’s time to introduce Fassel to a little Led Zeppelin…

No-no-no-no-no-no-noooooooooooo body’s fault but mine…….

Fassel has visited on air with the Sports Junkies, Mike and the Mad Dog in New York, CBS Sportsline and pretty much anyone that will listen to his Linda Ronstadt song…

Poor, poor pitiful me…poor-poor pitiful me…

When Jim Fassel accepted the role of consultant with the Ravens and later the role of offensive coordinator rumors swirled. There was talk about his work ethic, his commitment to the task at hand. There were also some not very well masked rumors (which I’m not here to substantiate) about his prowess with the ladies and his affinity for the bottle.

Whether you buy into any of this speculation or not, there is some intrigue and mystery surrounding Fassel and his inability to not only land a job as a head coach, but really fail to gain any serious consideration for that coveted job. And this is a man who was the NFL’s Coach of the Year in 1997.

What is so wrong with Jim Fassel?

Back in 2004 Fassel’s Giants were decimated by injuries after reaching the Wild Card round of the playoffs in 2003. With two games remaining in the 2004 season, Fassel was informed that he would be fired after the season. He coached those final two games with that understanding.

Fassel interviewed for a few of the several head coaching openings during the 2004 offseason but failed to be seriously considered. In 2005 he enthusiastically threw his hat into the coaching ring to be considered for more openings and failed to inspire even casual interest among the league’s general managers. It was almost as though there was some dirty dark secret about Fassel, known only within league circles that kept him from continuing his career as an NFL head coach.

Fast forward to 2008 and Fassel gets as close to a head coaching position as he’s been since 2004. By default he nearly is named as Joe Gibbs’ replacement in DC but at the eleventh hour, a 54-year-old quarterbacks coach named Jim Zorn snatches the opportunity away from Fassel and is named the new Redskins head coach by Dan Snyder.

Fassel is left in tatters and now he is spin doctoring and part of the spin includes Brian Billick and the Ravens.

Today Fassel calls accepting the offensive coordinator job under Brian Billick a mistake and points to it as the primary culprit for his failure to land the Redskins job.

"My biggest mistake was going to Baltimore," Fassel said. "That was the biggest mistake. I don’t think I needed to do that and when I went there and it was such a mess and got caught up in all that stuff..."

Fassel added, "I can’t tell you how many people have told me if you’d have just stayed out and done TV and radio and that stuff, it would have changed the whole perception of you."

Well what happened before Baltimore then Jim? Why weren’t you seriously considered then for head coaching vacancies?

Why did Snyder pass over you for a relatively old quarterbacks coach that has proven nothing and who was obviously overwhelmed, even intimidated by his recent hire?

"At the end of the day," said Fassel, "Dan wanted to make a big splash, and I think he was worried about the Baltimore thing. He worried about the public relations (fallout), and he didn't know which way to go."

Jim Zorn is a splash? He seems more like a belly flop to me.

Maybe if you had taken that coordinator’s position here in B’more a bit more seriously that “Baltimore thing” could have worked out for you. After all, the Ravens offense had little place to go but up and you could have been viewed as a savior of sorts. Maybe if you had spent a little more time studying film and not as much time creating a coaching manual and campaigning for your next position on the telephone, it may have worked out for you the way it did for Norv Turner in San Diego.

You see Turner was a coach who was hired by the Chargers despite a 58-82 career coaching record. Why? He took his offensive coordinator position in San Francisco pretty seriously.

Instead of whining about Baltimore and not taking accountability for your own mistakes, maybe you should give Norv a call and see how he managed to land one of the more desirable head coaching positions in the NFL.

Until then, how about a little more Linda Ronstadt?


Harryos29 said...

harry O 29 Feb 12, 2008
Well put... sometimes you need to look in the Mirror to find out where the problems are; I worked trg camp as a security associate during 2004 & 05 and heard many of the stories you alluded to here in your blog. Jim really seems like a nice enough guy. Sometimes the things you don't do, hurt you more than the things you did. Being a coordinator is more than a 9-5 job.
... Lets hope that GAME TIME will be re-surface on the Baltimore Air Waves soon! :-)

Mr. Nice Guy said...

I find it hard to feel sorry for someone who made $2.7 million in 2004 to stay at home.

Fassel is like the once attractive girl who got around a bit too much and then was surprised when no one wanted to marry her. I feel more for his son who might be viewed negatively because of dear old dad.

Anonymous said...

Fassel needs to put down the bottle and pick up a playbook...not a Playboy.

Anonymous said...

Cry me a river for this guy. He's proven nothing. So what if he went to the Super Bowl. He lost...BADLY!!!

If it weren't for that one kickoff return from Dixon (which the favor was returned by J Lew on the NEXT play), they would have gotten zilched in the Super Bowl.