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Is The Eagles Signature Short Yardage Play At Risk?

The Philadelphia Eagles and quarterback Jalen Hurts have been getting a lot of press regarding their one-yard QB sneak also known as “Tush Push”, “Brotherly Shove”, or whatever fans want to call it. It’s a play that has been nearly automatic on third and one or fourth and one situations. However, several coaches, members of media, and the NFL Competition Committee have proposed banning the play.

Why Do Some Want The Play Banned?

On a one-yard to go situation, the Eagles line Jalen Hurts up behind center. He takes the snap as the offensive line crashes forward. The Eagles will use either a running back or tight end to help push Hurts and the pile forward to get the first down or score. It’s a play that Philadelphia has over 98% success rate on since last year.

Defenses and defensive coordinators say it’s unfair. NFL rules allow an offensive player to be pushed forward, but it is a penalty if a defensive player pushes a defender forward to make a stop. This makes the play hard to defend. The Eagles have a lot more power pushing for the first down than what the defense can do to stop it. This does not make it an unfair play though.

The Eagles Are Actually Just Built Stronger

Interestingly, the play has been legal for nearly two decades and people now want it to be eliminated. Are they just tired of seeing the Eagles win already? Philly is not running this play to cheat; they are running it because they are best equipped to make it work.

There is a reason that the Eagles and Jalen Hurts are always talked about when the play is mentioned. This is because they are one of the only teams that runs it effectively. Philadelphia has an experienced and big offensive line with one of the best offensive line coaches in the industry, Jeff Stoutland. Also, Hurts is a bigger bodied quarterback at six foot one and 223 pounds. In college he was able to squat over 600 pounds.

“You see, other teams really try to do it, and they can’t do it as well as they do. It speaks to their offensive line and speaks to their quarterback. They know how to do it at a really high level. They’ve practiced and worked on it.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles had this to say after being defeated by the Eagles 25-11 this past week.

“I don’t think it’s stoppable two plays in a row. I think we had one or two here and there. That’s a lot of weight on both sides. It’s a great play that they got. They crafted it. The offensive line coach does a great job. They have a big athletic quarterback and you got push behind so it’s going to be tough. But we knew that going in.”

A few teams have tried to run the play this year and failed. Perhaps the rest of the league should be worried about stopping the Eagles on it rather than wanting it banned. For now, the Eagles will continue to run it until someone has an answer.

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