It figures to be an emotional return to the Meadowlands for Fassel, who led the
Giants to a Super Bowl in 2000 when they lost to the Ravens and is now on the
“Every time I go by there, it’s not like it doesn’t hit me, but it’s gotten
easier,” said Fassel, who celebrated his 55th birthday Tuesday. “I think there
will be emotions. I’ve thought about it, and you get yourself ready for it.
Being in the preseason lightens the load a little bit.”
Fassel, who’s likely to be a top head-coaching candidate after this season,
maintains strong ties with the Giants, particularly the owners.
“I think the world of Wellington Mara,” Fassel said. “John Mara is one of my
best friends. I think a lot about Bob Tisch and what he’s going through.”
Tisch, a co-owner of the Giants since 1991, has been diagnosed with inoperable
“I talked to Bob on the telephone a couple of weeks ago and my prayers are with
him,” Fassel said.
Fassel will be on the field during the first half before adjourning to the press
box after halftime. He declined to comment on the Giants’ current activities
under new coach Tom Coughlin.
Fassel is expecting a series of warm greetings after 58 victories, two NFC East
titles, a conference championship and a wild-card berth in a head-coaching stint
that began in 1997.
“You have a lot of fond memories, a lot of camaraderie with those guys,” said
Fassel, who commutes to the Ravens' training complex from his home in the New
Jersey suburbs several days a week. “It just doesn’t disappear. I don’t leave
there with bad feelings. I really don’t.”
RETURN GAME UPDATE: Undrafted rookie B.J. Sams has one more final exam to pass
in his bid to officially unseat incumbent return specialist Lamont Brightful.
After an impressive debut against the Detroit Lions that included an 89-yard
punt return for a touchdown that was negated by a penalty, Sams will return both
punts and kickoffs against the Giants.
“I’m still trying out for the team,” Sams said. “I’ll know for sure after
Thursday night, but I’m feeling really good about everything that’s happening.”
TRAINING ROOM: Linebacker Ed Hartwell aggravated a strained quadriceps and
Wide receiver Travis Taylor (groin) returned to practice along with cornerback
Corey Fuller (bruised lower leg) and fullback Ovie Mughelli (hamstring, sprained
Rookie wideout Devard Darling remains out after aggravating his quadriceps
during pregame warmups Saturday. Cornerback Javin Hunter (strained abductor) was
Defensive ends Tony Weaver (high ankle sprain) and Marques Douglas (elbow) have
been cleared by doctors, but won’t play against New York. They are expected to
be available for the regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns.
The rest of the injured list includes: quarterback Anthony Wright (shoulder),
linebacker Peter Boulware (knee), tight end Todd Heap (bruised shoulder) and
center Mike Flynn (broken collarbone).
Cornerback Fred Weary (quadriceps), return specialist Derek Abney (shoulder),
tight end Trent Smith (leg) and defensive tackle Matt Zielinski are on injured
Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.