Jason Kelce is starting to waive the white flag in the battle over the legality of the “tush push,” also known as the “brotherly shove.”
The Philadelphia Eagles center shrugged off the recent report that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants the play banned while discussing it on the most recent episode of his podcast with his brother Travis Kelce.
“Ban it. At this point, I don’t care. I’m over the discussion about it,” Kelce said on the “New Heights” podcast. ” … We were really good at running quarterback sneak before we did the push. I don’t think it’s a necessary part for it. It certainly helps, there’s no question about it.
“I just don’t have the energy to care about whether it gets banned or not. We’re going to run it right now because we’re good at it and it’s effective. Whatever they decide to do next season, we’ll find a way to do something at a high level and make it effective. I don’t think it makes sense to really worry about it.”
While The Athletic reported that Goodell “wants to see [the ‘tush push’] removed from the game permanently,” the report didn’t state why Goodell had an issue with the play. Kelce also questioned why the commissioner wants to see the play banned.
“If it’s for a health reason, I don’t think a lot of guys are getting injured on it. So, I don’t think that’s a good reason. If it’s for an unfair advantage, we’ve already seen other teams do it at not as good of a success level. So, I don’t know that it’s that big of a competitive advantage.
“I think that a lot of it is going to get banned because a lot of coaches, defensive coaches in particular, don’t want to have to defend it or it’s a high percentage chance that it’s gonna work. So, they’ve complained enough that now people want to see it gone.”
As Kelce mentioned, there haven’t been many injuries that have occurred on the “tush push” despite nearly all 22 players converging into the area on the play, according to The Athletic.
The Eagles have used the play to great success over the last two seasons. As of Oct. 18, the Eagles got a successful conversion on 93.5% of the plays they used the “tush push” on, The Athletic found. While Jalen Hurts has been at quarterback for the vast majority of those, the Eagles actually found success running it with backup Marcus Mariota in their Week 13 loss to the 49ers.
Even though the Eagles might have to part ways with a play that’s nearly guaranteed them to move the chains on short down-and-distance situations, Kelce isn’t fretting.
“We were 36-for-38 running quarterback sneaks before the push,” Kelce said. “… The ‘tush push’ gets a lot of the hype. Ever since Jeff Stoutland’s been here, we’ve been pretty darn efficient on quarterback sneaks — just around the 92% mark.”
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Of course, it should be noted that Kelce might not be around when the NFL bans the “tush push” next season. He mulled retirement this past offseason and has alluded to possibly retiring following the 2023 season.
Regardless if Kelce returns to play or not, the legality of the play is likely to be debated between the NFL’s competition committee and the owners this offseason. For any rule change to take place, the competition committee has to vote to approve the change. From there, 24 of the league’s 32 owners have to give their approval.
Whether the “tush push” gets banned or not, Kelce said “I get both sides” of the debate.
“If they do ban the ‘brotherly shove,’ there will be a good reason behind it that the commissioner wants to get done,” Kelce said. “Whether people agree with it or not, it is what it is and we move forward.”
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