Rex Ryan has taken shots at plenty of people in his new book, including former Giants coach Jim Fassel, who worked on Ryan's staff when they were in Baltimore with the Ravens.

Fassel was the offensive coordinator when he was fired by coach Brian Billick six games into the 2006 season. Ryan criticized Fassel for being unable to get more production out of quarterback Steve McNair, who was acquired the previous offseason from Tennessee. McNair, who played for the Ravens from 2006-07, was murdered July 4, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn.

"We got McNair [June 7, 2006] and Fassel was on vacation at the time," Ryan wrote in his book Play Like You Mean It. "He came back for a few days and worked with McNair, then went back to be with his family . . . But this was a time when you have to look at your family and say, 'We don't get quarterbacks like this at this time of the year very often' and they have to understand . . . "

"Here you have a chance to work with a really smart veteran . . . and you passed up the chance to grind away with him for a few weeks?"

Fassel, now coach of the United Football League's Las Vegas Locomotives, said in an interview Wednesday that he was more than willing to work with McNair, but that it was McNair's decision not to spend more time in Baltimore.

"When I got McNair, I said, 'Here's the calendar, when can you be here?' " Fassel said. "He crossed off four days one week and three days the next week, and that was all he committed to. I was the only one that was staying behind, and I had no vacation plans."

Ryan also wrote that after Fassel was fired, he "came to find out that Fassel was spending most of his time on the phone at that point, calling around trying to get a head coaching job. Assistant coaches couldn't get in his office to work with him, so they were getting frustrated. It was ugly all the way around. You just can't have that in a season. Look, I know what it's like to get frustrated when you don't get the job you want, but you don't handle it that way."

Fassel denied he was looking for a head coaching job during the season. "That's stupid," he said. "Four games into a season and I'm calling around for a head job? I wasn't doing that, I can guarantee you."

Fassel said he remains friendly with Ryan, and that they have spoken occasionally over the years. Fassel has not spoken to Billick, who had been one of his best friends, since being fired.

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