Tom Brady was the early master of the QB trick, but the Philadelphia Eagles have taken it to a whole new level.
The Eagles line up two or three people behind Jalen Hurts, who is under center. Hurts, already over 220 pounds from nearly every muscle and can squat at least 600 pounds, gets the benefit of multiple bodies behind him, and at this point, it’s not a question of whether Hurts will get the first try. , but how much more. he yards he could get.
In fact, Eagles center Jason Kelce calls their game simply «92%,» meaning that’s how often they get a first down in the game.
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Hurts had 10 first downs in Super Bowl LVII, and because of how automatic the play is, former NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said he thinks the league will discuss the matter this offseason and «I’d be surprised if they don’t make a change.»
«I was talking to [Denver Broncos head coach] Sean Payton during the game on Sunday, and he said we’re going to do this every time next season if they don’t cut him.» Blandino, now a FOX rules expert, says.
«This is a rugby scrum. The NFL wants to showcase the athleticism and skill of our athletes,» he continued. «It’s just not a slick play. It’s just a tactic that’s not an aesthetically pleasing play, and I think the competition committee will look into that.»
Blandino likened the «tush push» to a now prohibited use of assists on field goals and PATs.
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«If you remember field goals and extra points, they used to push defensive linemen into formation,» he said. «You would find the weak link in the offensive line. [The offensive line] they would have their legs intertwined. And you’d have two, and sometimes three, defensive linemen and two linebackers all rushing that player. We got rid of it.»
Blandino says the easy solution is to simply prohibit shoving the ball carrier, a move that had actually been illegal until 2005, but would take some work.
«[Outlawing it] in sneakers it’s easy,» he said. «The field stuff, they just put the tape together, show it to the refs and they just start calling it out. That’s the key. To desensitize him, you have to throw flags. I don’t think it’s a major problem.»
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Hurts has rushed for 1,444 yards on 204 carries, 123 of them first downs, in 30 games since the start of the 2021 season.