Source: Fassel meets with Snyder again to talk opening

Updated: January 22, 2008, 4:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Jim Fassel, the last coach to take the New York Giants to a Super Bowl, had a second interview with Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder on Tuesday, a source close to the situation told ESPN.

Fassel appears to be emerging as a serious candidate to replace Joe Gibbs as Redskins head coach. He could be considered for the offensive coordinator's job, sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen, although Snyder and Fassel did not discuss that possibility Tuesday.

Fassel was a finalist for the Redskins job in 2004 until Gibbs came out of retirement to replace Steve Spurrier. Snyder and vice president of player personnel Vinny Cerrato traveled cross-country on Christmas Eve in 2003 to conduct a two-day interview with Fassel, who had been fired as the Giants coach.

Gibbs resigned two weeks ago, and Snyder has interviewed five potential successors: Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Ron Meeks, Seattle Seahawks defensive backs coach Jim Mora, Redskins assistant Gregg Williams and Fassel.

Mora withdrew his name from consideration last week. Williams has met with Snyder four times and offered the best scenario of continuity for a team coming off a playoff season, but the fiery assistant was unsuccessful during his only stint as a head coach with the Buffalo Bills from 2001-03.

While the coaching search continued, the Redskins solidified their front office structure Tuesday by adding the word "executive" to Cerrato's title, making him the executive vice president of football operations. The team said Cerrato will assume responsibility for all aspects of the team's football organization, including the roster, scouting and salary cap management.

The move appears to offer a hint the next coach will have a less influential role than Gibbs, who also served as team president and often consulted with Snyder and Cerrato on equal footing. The Redskins have functioned without a general manager since Snyder bought the team in 1999.

Fassel was a two-time coach of the year with the Giants and led them to the NFC championship before losing the Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. He was 58-53-1 in seven seasons as the Giants coach, including a 4-12 record in his final year in which the team was decimated by injuries. He also has a 2-3 career record in the postseason and he led the Giants to an 11-5-1 record as a rookie head coach in 1997.

Fassel has been working as a media analyst -- he regularly appears on ESPN's "First Take" -- since being fired by Ravens coach Brian Billick as offensive coordinator in October of the 2006 season.

Chris Mortensen covers the NFL for ESPN. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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