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Steelers' Tomlin added to NFL competition committee

| Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 1:57 p.m.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin joins the NFL's competition committee. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review

Mike Tomlin will help make some of the rules his Steelers players dislike.

The Steelers coach was added Tuesday by the NFL to the competition committee, which is largely responsible for shaping rule changes.

Among those enacted by the league last month following a competition committee meeting in Arizona were a reworking of the Tuck Rule regarding quarterback fumbles, and a toughening of rules regarding players using their helmets to gain a physical advantage, especially running backs.

Tomlin replaces former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who was recently let go as Cardinals coach.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected to the competition committee by commissioner (Roger) Goodell,” Tomlin said in a statement. “I am excited for the opportunity to help maintain and strengthen the NFL game, and I look forward to contributing any way that I can.”

Goodell said in a statement, “Coach Tomlin will bring additional strength to the committee from the coaching perspective. Mike has strong, perceptive views about the game and is effective in expressing them. We look forward to his contributions to the committee's ongoing mission to improve the game.”

Tomlin might find that the toughest opponents to any rule changes might come from his own locker room.

Numerous Steelers players have been outspoken against rules that attempt to take away from the physicality of the game. Former Steelers linebacker James Harrison was fined more than $100,000 for various transgressions, and safety Ryan Clark was fined $40,000 for a hit the Steelers don't believe was illegal.

Steelers players also voted against enacting the 2011 collecting bargaining agreement — they were the only team to do so — mostly because they disliked that Goodell remained in his role as the sole arbiter for some disciplinary actions.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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