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Buccaneers Seeking Reversal

January 14, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

To win the NFC championship, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to buck some ugly trends: four straight losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and an 0-6 road record in the postseason.

Then there's that 1-21 record when the temperature is 40 or below.

But after setting a franchise record for victories in the regular season and dominating the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the playoffs, the Buccaneers are confident that Sunday's trip to Veterans Stadium will be different.

"None of that matters now.... If we win on Sunday, that erases anything that has happened. We just can't go up there and shoot ourselves in the foot," linebacker Derrick Brooks said.

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The San Diego City Council agreed to accept an offer from the Chargers to extend the renegotiation deadline on the team's Qualcomm Stadium lease.

The delay was endorsed last month by the Citizens Task Force on Chargers Issues, which recommended delaying the start of the 60-day triggering window from Dec. 1 to March 1.

"Extending the triggering window is more to the city's benefit than the Chargers' benefit," San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy said. "I don't know what [the Chargers] have up their sleeve, but I really think this is to the city's benefit."

The council also took up a side issue of whether to approve a "saving agreement," which is a legal mechanism to protect the team in case someone successfully sues to invalidate the extension of the trigger. Because that's an addendum the Chargers tacked onto to their original extension offer, the council voted to refer the matter to the task force. It will be revisited by the council Jan. 28.

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Oakland Raider defensive end Trace Armstrong underwent tests on his injured right groin, and his status for the AFC championship game this weekend is uncertain.... Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair will sit out practice until at least Wednesday because of a sore thumb, but he promised to be ready for the AFC championship game.

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Wide receiver coach Jerry Sullivan changed his mind and accepted the job of offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals.... Sherman Lewis was promoted to offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions.... Gary Gibbs and Steve Hoffman have been retained as Dallas Cowboy assistants by new Coach Bill Parcells.... The Cleveland Browns hired Andre Patterson as their defensive line coach and fired linebackers coach Keith Butler.

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