OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) – Jim Fassel was fired Tuesday as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, who rank 28th in total offense and have scored 16 points or fewer in half their games.

“Clearly, in order for us to expand on our 4-2 start, we have to have more offensive productivity,” coach Brian Billick said Tuesday. “It was my opinion going forward, in order to bring about the level of production that we need offensively, to get where we want to go, that I needed to step back in on a day-to-day basis.”

Billick will assume the duties of offensive coordinator, which includes calling the plays on game days.

Billick, a friend of the former New York Giants coach, called the change “one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make.

“I have an obligation to this organization to do what I think is in the best interests of this team, regardless of how difficult those decisions are,” he said.

Fassel was in his second year as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator after serving a season as a senior consultant to the offense. He was promoted to offensive coordinator after Baltimore fired Matt Cavanaugh following the 2004 season.

From 1997 to 2003, Fassel guided the Giants to two NFC East titles, a conference championship, an appearance in the Super Bowl and a wild-card playoff berth. He was named NFL coach of the year in 1997 and lost the 2001 Super Bowl to Baltimore.

With the Ravens, Fassel struggled unsuccessfully to get positive results from a unit that failed to provide ample support to one of the league’s best defenses. Baltimore hoped the addition of quarterback Steve McNair would fuel the offense, but the change didn’t bring about the desired results.

Fassel did not immediately return calls Tuesday seeking comment.

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