By JOHN C. COTEY
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 27, 2001
COACH JIM FASSEL ON THE CLOSENESS OF COORDINATORS SEAN PAYTON AND JOHN FOX: "When I put this whole thing together ... that one thing I kept in mind was the team and the coaching staff, we don't need a collection of a bunch of individuals that are super-talented in their own areas that can't work in the framework of everything else."
ON LB RAY LEWIS AND THE DIFFICULTY HE PRESENTS: "The one thing they do is they protect Ray Lewis, and he can run and make tackles. It's hard to get to him ... I think our line, our interior people, being able to get to Ray Lewis will be critical."
ON QB KERRY COLLINS AND HOW HE WILL HANDLE THE BALTIMORE DEFENSE:"It's not like Kerry Collins against one guy. Kerry Collins has got the game plan. He understands what he has to do within the framework of that. The biggest thing he's got to do is be smart with the ball each time. This team gets turnovers, a lot of them. And he's got to be smart."
ON FIELD POSITION, WHICH MANY THINK WILL BE A DECISIVE FACTOR: "Brad (Maynard) has got to have an outstanding punting day. We can't kick that guy (Jermaine Lewis) line drives. Is it Brad against Jermaine Lewis? No. It's going to take a good snap and great coverage. He's not going to kick over his head out of the end zone. He's going to have to have some help."
ON THE DAY BEFORE THE GAME: "I told them, "You come to that hotel at 6 o'clock to say goodbye to everybody, because I want you there, go to your room, relax, get everything off your plate and it's all about the game.' "
ON MEETING WITH GOOD FRIEND BRIAN BILLICK AFTER THE GAME: "It's already been decided that the winner is buying dinner."
ON TIKI BARBER'S ROLE IN SUNDAY'S GAME: "Tiki -- I've seen it written, and I can't argue with -- is our most valuable player, on offense and maybe as a team. He's had a tremendous year."
ON HIS TEAM'S DEMEANOR COMPARED WITH THE MORE VERBOSE RAVENS: "I said to them a while ago, when it's all said and done, I want more done than said. And they have followed that right down the line."
ON HIS DAD, WHO ALWAYS WANTED TO COACH AND NEVER GOT THE CHANCE: "The thing that's made me feel good personally is I've heard from so many people that talked about how my dad influenced their lives when they went through high school. And although he would have liked to coach, that was what he was doing; that was the closest he could get to it."
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