Eagles praised for ‘Tush Push’ as play’s future hangs in the balance


INDIANAPOLIS — Howie Roseman shot a glance to a member of the Eagles’ public relations department to make sure he didn’t say anything too incendiary.

But the longtime GM was just being honest when asked about the possibility that the NFL will outlaw the Eagles’ infamous “Tush Push” QB sneak play.

“All I know is everything we're doing is legal and it works,” Roseman said. “And just because people do something that’s really good, doesn't mean it should be outlawed.”

The Eagles this season were nearly unstoppable on QB sneaks. Not all of them were of the “Tush Push” variety but the Eagles converted over 92% of their QB sneaks with Jalen Hurts. And a big part of that success was how they mastered this particular QB sneak, which basically looked like a rugby scrum, with Hurts’ teammates pushing him from behind.

There’s a chance the play could be outlawed by the beginning of the 2023 season.

The NFL’s Competition Committee is considering a rule change that would make it illegal for other players to push the quarterback from behind on QB sneaks in some variation. It will be a fascinating decision for the league’s 32 owners at the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix in late March.

But not everyone is eager for the play to be outlawed.

And either way, plenty of NFL head coaches at the combine this week praised the Eagles for their innovative strategy.

"I think it's cool anytime someone's able to execute something when the opponent knows it's coming,” Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said. “I don't care who you are. That would be attempted by every team if they could guarantee the success at the rate that the Philadelphia Eagles were able to do it at. Yeah, it's not the coolest highlight reel football to watch. But nonetheless, I very much appreciate what it takes to excel at that.”


If the rule isn’t changed, it’s very likely other teams try to implement the play into their offenses next season. But there’s no guarantee it works for other teams as well as it did for the Eagles.

Because the play looks like a free-for-all scrum but the Eagles have mastered the technique behind it. And they have an excellent offensive line. And they have a quarterback who squats 600 pounds.

Still, if given the opportunity, other teams will try in 2023.

"I'm a little jealous we didn't come up with the idea,” Broncos head coach Sean Payton said. “It's just a version of the quarterback sneak, but with a little more to it. Everyone is pushing, and it's a scrum. Here's one of the things you learn. You can't control — if they vote to not allow it, then great. If they vote to leave it alone, then great. We'll study it.

“When I was asked at FOX about that play, and I said, 'If that is allowed, all of us would look at more film and put it in ourselves. We'd try to do that. Someone the other night in the XFL ran that same scheme and the whole pile went backwards. They didn't get the right technique and it didn't look the same as Philadelphia. We'll see what happens. That's something I don't really worry about. If they allow it, then you look at how you can do it. If they don't allow it, you move on and do something else."

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll seemed particularly fascinated by the play.

Carroll said he was a little slow to realize just how far the Eagles had taken it but was clearly impressed. He even went as far to call the play an “evolutionary opportunity” for the NFL.

And if the rule doesn’t get changed, Carroll said the Seahawks will be “deeply involved” in looking into the play for themselves. Carroll’s point was that this sneak not only changes a 3rd or 4th down but could alter play calling on early downs as teams just try to get into a 3rd- or 4th-and-short.

“I thought it was an exciting part of the game,” Carroll said. “But other people might think that it’s such a departure from what we’ve done in the past, that ‘We can’t do that.’ I don’t think like that. I think it would be a really cool thing. It would change the game though.”

The one team that absolutely doesn’t want the rule to change is the Eagles, who came up with it and perfected it in 2022 on their way to a Super Bowl appearance.


Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni joked (with some truth) that NFL defensive coaches are the ones bringing up the potential rule change.

“I thought it was good for the game,” Sirianni said. “Obviously, I'm biased. We had a lot of success with it.”

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