Thursday, December 29, 2005
Fassel can return as Ravens' offensive coordinator
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Jim Fassel will return as the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator next season unless he receives a head-coaching position with another NFL team.
"We're going to be very supportive of Jim's looking and hopefully being able to procure a head coaching job. I think Jim would be outstanding," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "If indeed that doesn't happen, Jim will be back next year. Some of the speculation I've seen is just that, because Jim and I have already had discussions about some of the things we need to do."
There had been speculation about whether the Ravens would retain Fassel, who coached the New York Giants for seven seasons and took them to the Super Bowl in 2001, when they lost to the Ravens.
But Billick quelled that one day after owner Steve Bisciotti said Billick would be back next season despite the team's 6-9 record. Fassel replaced Matt Cavanaugh one year after spending the 2004 season as a senior consultant.
The Ravens rank 25th in total offense but have improved markedly over the past two games, outscoring the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings by a combined margin of 78-26.
Billick said quarterbacks coach Rick Neuheisel would succeed Fassel as offensive coordinator if Fassel leaves the Ravens.
"One of the reasons I brought Rick Neuheisel in is if Jim should garner a head coaching position, that continuity can be sustained because Rick has been here for a year," Billick said. "We made it very clear Rick will become the coordinator from the day he arrived for that very reason."