John, who turned 47 earlier this month, is the son of former New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel.
The younger Fassel — nicknamed “Bones” for his slender physique — has been coaching in the NFL since originally becoming the Baltimore Ravens’ assistant special teams coordinator in 2005. After spending three years in that role, he became the Oakland Raiders’ full-time special teams coordinator.
Here’s a look at how Fassel’s units have ranked by DVOA:
2008 Oakland Raiders — 2nd
2009 Oakland Raiders — 17th
2010 Oakland Raiders — 13th
2011 Oakland Raiders — 20th
2012 St. Louis Rams — 26th
2013 St. Louis Rams — 4th
2014 St. Louis Rams — 7th
2015 St. Louis Rams — 7th
2016 Los Angeles Rams — 3rd
2017 Los Angeles Rams — 2nd
2018 Los Angeles Rams — 17th
2019 Los Angeles Rams — 23rd
2020 Dallas Cowboys — 7th
Fassel’s relative success has him viewed as one of the best special teams coordinators in the league. It was a bit of a surprise when the Rams didn’t retain him after his contract expired last year. Our enemies over at Blogging The Boys did a nice job of highlighting his special teams trickery.
Fassel also has some head coaching experience under his belt. He was the head coach (and assistant athletic director) at Division II New Mexico Highlands University for two years in the early aughts. He also served as the Rams’ interim head coach for three games (0-3 record) after Jeff Fisher got fired.
Fassel is the second high-profile Dallas assistant the Eagles have been linked to in their search for a head coach. It was previously reported Philly wanted to meet with Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, though no interview has occurred thus far.
Special teams coordinators don’t regularly make the jump to becoming NFL head coaches but the Eagles know firsthand such an outcome is hardly unprecedented. Philly lost John Harbaugh to the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 and that turned out to be a decent hire.
Fassel is certainly a candidate worth talking to. It’s interesting, though, how he and Nick Sirianni have suddenly entered the fray with all the buzz about the Eagles potentially hiring Josh McDaniels. Is Philly trying to put pressure on McDaniels to accept the job? Did McDaniels turn the Eagles down? Are the Eagles genuinely trying to cast a wide net in their search? Or are they truly “scrambling” for an answer after not fully expecting to fire Doug Pederson?
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Here’s a recap of where things stand with the Eagles’ coaching search:
49ers DC Robert Saleh Titans OC Arthur Smith Rams DC Brandon Staley
Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles
Patriots ILB coach Jerod Mayo
Eagles assistant head coach/RB coach Duce Staley
Panthers OC Joe Brady
Cowboys OC Kellen Moore
Patriots OC Josh McDaniels
Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy
Colts OC Nick Sirianni
Chiefs QB coach/passing game coordinator Mike Kafka Bills OC Brian Daboll
Oklahoma HC Lincoln Riley
Ohio State HC Ryan Day
Cowboys STC John Fassel
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