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EX-BUC QB SIMMS DENIES DRUG-DRIVING CHARGE

MAKING NEWS

New York City police say Titans backup quarterback Chris Simms, above, told them he'd been smoking marijuana before he was stopped while driving early Thursday. But the former Buc says he was talking about cigarettes. Simms, son of former Giants QB and current CBS analyst Phil Simms, called the case against him "very weak" as he left a Manhattan court after being arraigned on charges of driving while impaired by drugs. Released without bail, he's due back Aug. 23. Police and prosecutors said Simms, 29, slurred his words, had bloodshot eyes and smelled of marijuana when stopped at a police checkpoint with wife Danielle, who's eight months pregnant, and two unidentified people in his car. The Bucs drafted Simms in 2003 and released him in '08. He signed with the Titans this year as a free agent.

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Lakers' Jackson wants grand finale

Phil Jackson ended a year of speculation and stopped another before it began when he said he would return to coach the Lakers next season and it would be his "last stand." The 64-year-old's return was a question all season, with owner Jerry Buss wanting him to take a pay cut and Jackson considering retirement. Jackson made $12 million in 2009-10, when the Lakers won a second straight title. The team didn't say how much he'll make next season. "After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title," Jackson said. "It'll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one."

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And the Yankees sent along a win

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner got an early birthday party Thursday when team employees, family members and friends spent time with him at the Yankees' spring training complex in Tampa. The Boss turns 80 on Sunday. Among those in attendance were Steinbrenner's sons, Hal and Hank, and daughters, Jennifer and Jessica, and longtime friend Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, the 1955 Heisman Trophy winner. Steinbrenner will be with his family Sunday and also might watch Tampa's fireworks display.

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