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Giants offered coaching job to Saban before Fassel

I’m gradually working my way through the excellent Nick Saban biography from Monte Burke, which has plenty of either unknown or long-forgotten nuggets relevant to the NFL.

When the Giants fired Dan Reeves after the 1996 season, they eventually hired Jim Fassel. Before hiring Fassel, the Giants interviewed Saban, who at the time served as the coach at Michigan State..

“We were very impressed with him,” John Mara said of Saban. “We offered him the job.”

Taking it a step farther, the late George Young, G.M. of the Giants at the time, told John Mara and his father, Wellington, that Saban was “the best candidate [Young had] ever interviewed.”

The problem is that Saban wanted control over personnel and the coaching staff. The Giants didn’t want to give the coach that kind of power. And so the process of negotiating a contract broke down before it ever got very far.

Still, the Giants wanted Saban, eight years before he finally said yes to an NFL head-coaching job.