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BillyC 12-17-2003 01:33 PM

Fassel fired by N.Y. Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Coach Jim Fassel was fired by the New York Giants after a disappointing season that began with hopes of reaching the Super Bowl.


"It's time. They need a change, I need a change. It's the right thing to do," Fassel said Wednesday.

He will coach the last two games of the season.

Fassel was told of the decision Tuesday in a meeting he requested with Giants co-owners Wellington Mara and Bob Tisch and executive vice president John Mara.

A Super Bowl team three seasons ago and expected to contend again, the Giants (4-10) have dropped six straight games to fall to last place in the NFC East. It's the team's longest losing streak in 10 years.

In seven seasons as the Giants' coach, Fassel is 60-54-1, including the postseason. He took the team to the playoffs three times, including a loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the 2001 Super Bowl. Last season, the Giants made the playoffs at 10-6, then blew a 24-point third-quarter lead against the San Francisco 49ers and lost their wild-card game 39-38. The game ended on a botched snap and what the league later acknowledged was bad officiating.

In retrospect, that defeat might have caused some indecision at key moments this season for Fassel, who had a year left on his contract at a salary of about $2.5 million.

Before becoming the Giants' head coach, Fassel was the offensive coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals. He has been thought to be a candidate for Arizona's head coaching job if it should become vacant.

He also was head coach at the University of Utah from 1985-89.

This season began with promise for the Giants, who opened with a 23-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams, a team now tied for the best record in the NFC at 11-3.

But New York lost a stunner to Dallas in its second game, kicking what appeared to be a winning field goal with 11 seconds left, only to have the ensuing kickoff go out of bounds. That helped Dallas tie the game, then win in overtime.

The Giants were 2-3 going into their first meeting with Philadelphia. New York dominated but lost on an 84-yard punt return by Brian Westbrook with just over a minute left.

The season went downhill from there, although New York did hand Minnesota its first loss after the Vikings started 6-0.

But the Giants had plenty of injury problems, including to tight end Jeremy Shockey, three starting defensive backs, and three starters on an offensive line that wasn't very good to start with.

The offensive line problems led to problems in the passing game and finally to an injury that knocked out quarterback Kerry Collins, who had started 67 straight games.

The low point came Sunday night with a 45-7 loss in New Orleans, the Giants' worst regular-season defeat since 1973. They are minus-13 in turnover margin, second-worst in the league, and star running Tiki Barber has lost several fumbles.

Among the possible successors to Fassel are LSU coach Nick Saban, former Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin, and the Patriots' two coordinators: Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis. Coughlin, Crennel and Weis were Giants assistants under Bill Parcells.

Danno 12-17-2003 01:47 PM

Fassel fired by N.Y. Giants
I think Fassel was a good coach who had a bad year. He\'s one of the good guys in this league and I\'m positive he\'ll resurface and will succeed.

I wonder if he\'d take a coordinator\'s job for a year or two? ;)

saintz08 12-17-2003 07:06 PM

Fassel fired by N.Y. Giants
After the Saints game , you had too know it was coming .

WhoDat 12-18-2003 02:06 PM

Fassel fired by N.Y. Giants
Jim Fassel has a winning percentage of .521 in New York and that\'s AFTER losing 6 in a row and 10 total this season. In that same period he has trips to the playoffs in three seperate seasons (I believe), a few playoff victories and one Super Bowl appearance.

Haslett is batting .531 in NO with one trip to the playoffs and one playoff win. The argument can be made that the Saints a re a more talented team than the Giants. At worst, they are equal, so tell me again why Haslett should get to stay?

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