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Gruden, Lynch and more

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 NFL News - Wednesday, January 23,2008
... Gruden, Lynch and more...

Bucs owner Glazer rewards Gruden, Allen with three-year 

Coach Jon Gruden was rewarded Tuesday for Tampa Bay's worst-
to-first turnaround in the NFC South with a three-year contract 
extension that runs through the 2011 season. Gruden, who had 
one year left on a contract that was extended after the 
Buccaneers won the Super Bowl five seasons ago, earned
 about $4.3 million in 2007. General manager Bruce Allen also 
was given a three-year extension, keeping him under contract 
for another four seasons. Gruden and Allen were attending 
Senior Bowl workouts in Mobile, Ala., and unavailable for 
comment. Financial terms were not announced.
The Bucs rebounded from a 4-12 finish in 2006 to go 9-8 and 
win the NFC South this season. It was the team's third division 
title in six years under Gruden, who is 48-48 in the regular 
season and 3-2 in the playoffs since moving to Tampa Bay from 
the Oakland Raiders after the 2001 season. Owner Malcolm Glazer 
and his sons paid a hefty price -- four high draft picks and 
$8 million cash -- to pry the coach away from the Raiders. 
The move produced immediate dividends with a Super Bowl title 
in Gruden's first season, however the Buccaneers have missed 
the playoffs in three of five seasons since then.
Allen, who also worked with Gruden in Oakland, joined the 
Buccaneers in 2004. He inherited a tight salary-cap situation 
that made it difficult to compete for top-tier free agents 
until last winter, when the team landed quarterback 
Jeff Garcia. 

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Giants-Packers draws highest conference championship rating 
since '97

With huge stars and popular teams, the NFL's conference 
championship games earned big ratings. The NFC title game drew 
a 29.0 national rating and 43 share on Fox. The New York Giants' 
23-20 overtime win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night 
attracted the highest rating for a conference championship 
since Green Bay-Carolina earned a 30.1/58 in 1997.
The undefeated New England Patriots' 21-12 win over the 
heavy underdog San Diego Chargers drew a 25.7/46 on CBS. That 
was up 2 percent from the early game last year, the Chicago-New 
Orleans NFC championship that attracted a 25.1/45. Combined, 
the two games averaged 49.7 million viewers, the most for a 
conference championship weekend in 13 years. The Chargers-
Steelers and Cowboys-49ers matchups averaged 49.9 million 
viewers in 1995.The rating is the percentage watching a program 
among homes with televisions, and the share is the percentage 
tuned into the broadcast among those households with TVs on at 
the time.

Wife of ex-Cowboys RB Springs sues doctors

The wife of former Dallas Cowboys running back Ron Springs is 
suing two doctors she accuses of letting her husband slip into 
a coma last October. The medical malpractice lawsuit filed 
Tuesday by Adriane Springs seeks unspecified damages.
Ron Springs appeared to have been improving after receiving 
a new kidney from ex-teammate Everson Walls in March. Springs 
suffered from Type 2 diabetes, which forced the amputation 
of his right foot. But Springs, 51, has remained in a coma 
since an October 12 surgery that relatives believed was a 
routine procedure to remove a 2-centimeter cyst on his left 
forearm. Named in the suit are Dr. Joyce Abraham, Dr. David 
Godat and the Texas Anesthesia Group. The suit alleges that 
Springs began having difficulty breathing as he received 
anesthesia, and that doctors used drugs to induce him into 
a paralyzed state in order to intubate him. According to 
the suit, the intubation failed and Springs went into 
cardiopulmonary arrest before being resuscitated.
Springs remains non-responsive to verbal commands, the 
suit said, and is in a "persistent mentally and physically 
incapacitated state due to severe anoxic brain injury." 

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Broncos safety Lynch earns ninth trip to Pro Bowl

Denver Broncos safety John Lynch was named to his ninth Pro 
Bowl on Tuesday, replacing the injured Bob Sanders of 
Indianapolis. Lynch joins teammate Champ Bailey on the AFC 
roster. Bailey and Lynch have both been selected to the 
Pro Bowl all four years they've played for Denver.
Lynch's nine career Pro Bowls ranks second among safeties in 
NFL history, trailing only Ken Houston's 10 nominations from 
1970-79 with the Houston Oilers and Washington Redskins.
The 15-year veteran hasn't decided whether he'll be back for 
another season. Lynch is mulling over retirement, but is 
expected to reach a decision soon. Lynch's body may have the 
final say whether he returns. He was dinged up quite a bit 
last season, missing a game with a groin injury and two more 
because of a stinger in his neck, which he suffered against 
Green Bay in late October. The neck injury had him particularly 
worried because he experienced numbness in his fingers.
However, Lynch received assurances from doctors that it was 
just a pinched nerve and was soon back in the lineup.
Lynch finished the season with 62 tackles and one sack in 13 
games. He also broke up three passes.

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