Fassel gives guarantees a rest in playoffs

N.Y. coach says `you can overdo something'

Giants notebook

Super Bowl Xxxv

Ravens Vs. Giants

January 23, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

TAMPA, Fla. - New York Giants coach Jim Fassel said no more guarantees will be necessary this season.

After a 31-21 home loss to Detroit in Week 11, Fassel made the bold statement that the Giants would make the playoffs this season. His team has since responded with seven straight wins, including a 41-0 rout over Minnesota in the NFC championship.

Now, there's no need for prodding.

"As a coach, you have to know when you're coming around the final turn and how to push your team to the next level. Sometimes you can overdo something," he said. "I said it because I believed it 100 percent. I was angry and upset, and I had to get the focus going in a direction. I achieved that. Now, I don't have to be cute and funny and quotable."

Fassel and Ravens coach Brian Billick have shown a contrast in the approach taken to the week in Tampa leading to Super Bowl Sunday.

While Billick has been lenient with curfew (only Saturday), Fassel has laid down a firm hand with daily curfew.

"The bottom line is each coach knows his team and how he got them there," Fassel said.

Modell keeps seats

Ravens owner Art Modell has season tickets for his team - and for the Giants.

Modell holds 67 season tickets at Giants Stadium.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Modell was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan as a 9-year-old. When the Dodgers left town, he switched his allegiance to the Giants. He bought his first season tickets in 1945, when the team was playing at the Polo Grounds. He bought even more when the team moved to Yankee Stadium and then Giants Stadium.

"I bought some before I moved to Cleveland, and bought some after I moved to Cleveland for families, friends and creditors," Modell joked. "It's been a great experience."

Asked if he got tickets to this year's Super Bowl in the Giants' ticket lottery, Modell said, "I lost out on the raffle."

Hitting the field

While the Ravens were just arriving, the Giants had meetings yesterday morning followed by their first practice in the afternoon.

"Our practice was not designed for physical contact or high intensity. We were going to go back and focus on other things," Fassel said. "We did about 20 plays on offense, 20 plays on defense and spent 15 minutes on special teams. I thought our focus was good. It was a good start for us."

Working out in warm-ups without shoulder pads, all the Giants participated, including wide receiver Amani Toomer, bothered by a bad ankle.

"It was a little sore, but I've got a couple more days left to get my ankle better," he said.

Seeing double

On Sunday, Giants running back Tiki Barber got a visit in with his twin brother, Ronde, a cornerback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"His fiancee cooked us dinner. It's kind of cool having him down here because I can get away. No one can find me when I go to his house," said Barber.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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