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Steelers extend Tomlin deal to 2012

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers signed coach Mike Tomlin on Friday to a two-year contract extension through the 2012 season, with an option year in 2013.

The extension was expected because the team's policy has been to sign a coach before he begins the final season of a contract. Tomlin is only the Steelers' third coach since 1969, following Chuck Noll (1969-91) and Bill Cowher (1992-2006).

Tomlin is 31-17 in three seasons, with two division titles, an AFC championship and a Super Bowl victory. At the end of the 2008 season, he became the youngest coach — 36 at the time — to win the Super Bowl when the Steelers beat Arizona 27-23.

"His unique ability to lead the team and motivate individuals have been key factors in our success," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement.

The Steelers were 9-7 and missed the playoffs last season. They open training camp Friday in Latrobe, Pa.

Tomlin made an average of $2.5 million per season under the contract he signed upon succeeding Cowher in January 2007. His new contract is expected to at least double that.

All helmets meet safety standards

NEW YORK — The results of an independent study commissioned by the NFL and the players union show modern helmets meet all national safety standards, though it stressed that no helmet can prevent concussions and more studies are necessary.

The study, which began last year, involved two independent labs that tested each of the 16 commercially available helmets for impacts similar to what would be felt by an NFL player in the open field. Eight locations on each helmet were tested using four speeds of impact, based on an analysis of game video and computer models in an attempt to replicate actual hits.

The raw data was examined by two biomechanical engineers and a statistician and reviewed by the NFL's new Head, Neck and Spine Committee and doctors from the players union.

The results showed that all 16 helmets met or exceeded national standards to protect players against traumatic head injuries, and none performed worse than a reference group of helmets from the 1990s.

Broncos: Coming off an NFL-leading and team-record 17 sacks last season, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil reached agreement on a $61.5 million extension through 2015 that includes $43.168 million in guarantees, a record for a player at his pass-rushing position. Instead of posturing, Dumervil signed his restricted free agent tender and continued working out with the team during the offseason while his agent and general manager exchanged figures.

Dolphins: Moving quickly to replace injured defensive end Phillip Merling, the team agreed to terms on a $2.5 million, two-year contract with free agent Marques Douglas, the Associated Press reported. Douglas, 33, started 12 games for the Jets' top-ranked defense last year.

Steelers extend Tomlin deal to 2012 07/23/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 23, 2010 9:43pm]
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