PHILADELPHIA — The NFL competition committee is expected to reevaluate a nearly 20-year-old rule allowing offensive players to push a ball carrier forward, thanks in part to the effectiveness demonstrated by the Philadelphia Eagles in using this rule last season.
Jalen Hurts converted 36 out of his 40 quarterback sneaks last season, including 10 rushing first downs in Super Bowl LVII, thanks in part to his teammates pushing him forward after the ball was snapped - a strategy nicknamed the 'Tush Push'.
This rule has been in place since 2005, but the Eagles were the first team to consistently use it during the 2022 season, and now the league is considering a change.
“I think the league is going to look at this, and I’d be shocked if they don’t make a change,"’ said Dean Blandino, who served as the NFL’s vice president of officiating from 2013 to 2017, told Paul Domowitch of 33rd Team. "I was talking to (Denver Broncos coach) Sean Payton during Sunday’s game, and he said we’re going to do this every time next season if they don’t take it out."
The NFL competition committee will meet at the league scouting combine in Indianapolis and again prior to the NFL owners meeting in March, and the Tush Push is going to be on the agenda.
The committee will evaluate three options regarding the Tush Push: 1) recommend no change; 2) outlawing pushing the ball carrier altogether; or 3) recommend just getting rid of it on QB sneaks.
Hurts himself will probably still find plenty of success on sneaks thanks to his powerful lower body strength, but this rule no doubt changes how this team - more than any other team - will approach short yardage situations in 2023.