What Is the Brotherly Shove? Eagles’ Tush Push Causes Controversy Across League

The Eagles' trendy play has been given a new name. But are others growing weary of the much debated goal-line/short-yardage play?

The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the NFL’s best in 2023, holding a 10-3 record heading into Week 15. While they are winning in a multitude of ways, one specific — even controversial — play of theirs has taken the league by storm.

Philadelphia Eagles’ Short-Yardage/Goal-Line Formation Causing Continuous Stir in NFL

Fans and media have referred to it as the “tush push.” The Eagles, though, have reportedly referred to the play as the “Brotherly Shove” as a homage to the City of Brotherly Love.

It’s a simple formation designed for Jalen Hurts to get across the needed yard marker to either keep drives alive or score.

There have been, however, some outspoken critics of the Eagles’ buzzworthy play. One is Amazon NFL analyst and Super Bowl-winning cornerback Richard Sherman.

The perennial Pro Bowl defender, who played in three Super Bowls with the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, cited a hypocrisy involving player safety with the QB sneak play.

“My problem with the tush push is the @NFL literally banned defensive players from pushing other players into the offensive formation on FG and PATs because it was a ‘Health and safety issue’ but now it’s ok because it benefits the offense?” Sherman asked on X (formerly known as Twitter).

An even harsher critic is FOX West Texas sports anchor Damien Bartonek, who called the play “garbage.”

The most outspoken of the play, though, is former NFL quarterback and NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms, who during the week of September 25, felt the best way to stop the play was to “go headhunting on the quarterback,” basically implying that a defender should purposely hurt the QB.

MORE: PFN’s FREE NFL Playoff Predictor

While some fans and analysts believe the play gives the Eagles an unfair advantage, former NFL edge rusher and previous NFL Defensive Player of the Year winner J.J. Watt has no issue with the play.

Jalen Hurts Sounds Off on Critics Who Hope To See the Play Banned

Meanwhile, Hurts himself was asked about his opinion earlier this season. He was asked about hearing the critics call out the play — with some believing the “Brotherly Shove” should be banned.

Hurts, however, opted to deflect sharing any quotes to the Philly media.

“I have no thoughts on it. We’re the only people doing it as well as we are. There was a guy who even wanted me hurt for it, too,” Hurts said.

In recent weeks, talks of banning the play have been reborn. It was initially rumored that league commissioner Roger Goodell wanted to ban the “Brotherly Shove” in the offseason, which was later pushed back.

However, it appears the league will not seek to eliminate the play. According to NFL executive Troy Vincent, Philadelphia does it better than everyone else. “You don’t want to punish anyone for doing something well,” Vincent said.

Various teams have attempted a shove of their own, but none have been able to replicate the Eagles’ success. A big reason for Philadelphia’s success is center Jason Kelce.

Although the league may not be planning any ban on the play, Kelce is tired of the debates. “Listen, ban it,” Kelce said. “I really — at this point, I don’t care. I’m over the discussion about it.”

The Eagles, according to Kelce, will continue to be successful with quarterback sneaks in the future either way. “We were really good at running the quarterback sneak before we did the push. I don’t think that it’s a necessary part for it. It certainly helps, there’s no question about it,” he said.

Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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