What is the ‘Tush Push’ play in NFL? Analyzing Eagles’ dominant play causing controversy
The "tush push" is a patented move that the Philadelphia Eagles execute to perfection in short-yardage plays. This move entails the offensive line thrusting the quarterback forward from behind, aiming to garner a few additional yards. The unique way that they guide the QB along earned the strategy its nickname, "tush push."
The move has proved extremely successful for the beaten Super Bowl LVII finalists, earning praise and criticism in NFL circles. Furthermore, while the NFL has banned an array of moves for security concerns, the tush push remains legitimate.
There's no doubt that the "tush push" was instrumental to the Eagles' improbable run to Super Bowl LVII. The move was completed a staggering 37 out of 41 times, as Jalen Hurts was finding the end zone with startling efficiency. Let's take a look at the argument for and against the Eagles' favorite short-yardage play move.
The argument for "Tush Push"
For Eagles players, fans, and neutrals, the "tush push" is simply a unique move geared toward making the best use of a generational dual-threat talent in Jalen Hurts. The movement is facilitated by arguably the best offensive line in the league, and it is done to perfection by Nick Sirianni and his coaching staff.
The NFL has yet to outlaw the patented move because, really, is it hurting anyone? Moreover, teams are allowed to get creative with their play calling; other franchises should come up with their own version of the move. Those in favor of the move believe it brings an element of thrill and surprise to football. We totally agree with the proponents of the action, and if other teams aren't pleased, then they could come up with their own iteration.
Like Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said (via The Morning Call):
"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.”
If more teams adopt this approach to the patented move, it'll be around for a long time.
The argument against "Tush Push"
While the "tush push" has its backers, it also has its detractors. Some have argued that the play is a risky one. They think it could cause the quarterback, who gets pushed from behind, to get hurt.
The same individuals see the move as providing unnecessary power to the attack team. It lets them clinch some extra yards by pushing the quarterback ahead. Hence, specific individuals protest that the play violates the game's rules. They say that it's too similar to a rugby move as it involves offensive linemen hitting low on the defense. Some have even labeled it unsportsmanlike and feel it negates the fair play rule of the NFL.
Recently, Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio gave his two cents on the matter. Rio said (via Sports Illustrated):
"I would personally like to see it eliminated. Not just because they run it better than anybody, although they do run it better than anybody, but that's not a football play. That's a nice rugby play and not what we're looking for in football. But until it’s outlawed, we’ll prepare for it and get ready to do our best to stop it.”
That pretty much sums up the general beef with the "tush push." Unfortunately for the detractors, the move is here to stay, and till it is "outlawed," you can bet that the Eagles will use it to their advantage.