NY Post: JOHN Fox never knew how close he was to becoming the Giants' head coach. In early 2001, after the Giants shocked the football world by surging all the way to Super Bowl XXXV, where they were thrashed by the Ravens, Jim Fassel was in line for a hefty raise and the Giants were willing to comply, to a point. Negotiations got hot and heavy and it soon was evident Fassel wanted more than the Giants were willing to give.
The Giants, believing Fassel was a good coach but not a great one, were prepared to walk down the hall, into the office of their defensive coordinator and hand the head-coaching job to Fox. Sure, it would have been a strange scenario and a public-relations mess - jettison a coach who just took you to the Super Bowl? - but that's how strongly the Giants felt about Fox's potential. Fassel and the Giants eventually agreed to terms, and Fox nearly left for Buffalo but returned for one more season before he was hired by the Panthers in 2002.