According to Jim: Fassel Wants To Coach Raiders

Colin MehiganCorrespondent INovember 19, 2008

I was under the impression that people stopped using handwritten letters back in the mid-1990s.

Apparently Jim Fassel still does.

The former New York Giants head coach has expressed his interest in coaching the Raiders by sending Al Davis the aforementioned handwritten letter. Some may say this indicates desperation on the part of Fassel. However, there is just the slightest chance that Fassel may be the ideal fit for Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders.

Fassel had a respectable record in New York going 58-53-1 (that’s right Donovan McNabb, ties can indeed happen in football). He most famously took the Giants to the Super Bowl in 2001 and was named NFL coach of the year in 1997.

He has a long standing record of tutoring prominent quarterbacks, most notably John Elway, when he was an assistant at Stanford back in the early 1980s. He also resurrected the career of Kerry Collins while with the Giants.

Given that JaMarcus Russell is the most important component of the Raiders playing staff, this could be a crucial advantage for Fassel.

Critics will point however to Fassel's lack of success with the Baltimore Ravens, where he was offensive coordinator between 2004 and 2006. Fassel was ignominiously fired midway through the 2006 season.

Whether Fassel is the answer to the Raiders ailments or not Al Davis must ask himself one simple question when hiring a new head coach is this: Is the candidate a good leader of men?

The Raiders need strong leadership. Free agents, high draft picks, West Coast offenses, Wildcat formations are all irrelevant without strong leadership. It is this quality that has been lacking in Oakland since the departure of John Gruden .

If Fassel can demonstrate the requisite leadership qualities to Al Davis, then perhaps the Raiders will start to see the light at the end of the very dark black hole.