PHILADELPHIA – Turns out, the “tush push” itself isn’t unstoppable, it’s the Philadelphia version of Peter King’s favorite play that 92% of the time works every time, at least according to Jason Kelce and and Brian Fantana.
The admittedly less-than-aesthetic play was dusted off for two touchdowns in a Week 2 win over Minnesota and King, the most well-known detractor, was back at it.
“I am on record last year many times loudly saying it’s an abomination,” King wrote on social media. “It’s an idiotic rule. And the NFL has made, in my opinion, a terrible mistake in not legislating a rugby play out of the NFL.”
Kelce now has his own platform and responded in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.
“Abomination? That’s a strong word,” the All-Pro center said of his “New Heights Podcast.” “That’s an interesting quote. First of all, abomination is a strong word. Usually, you’ll hear that with serial killers. That’s like, against the Lord, right? Like what is the definition of abomination? This is ungodly? That’s a strong word for a quarterback sneak play.
“What do we want to outlaw it for? Just because it’s a really, really, highly successful play? Or it’s like, unfair.”
Kelce then pivoted toward King’s backhanded slap at rugby before returning to the Eagles’ success.
“If it’s because we’re really good at it, what else are you going to outlaw that other people are really good at?” Kelce asked rhetorically. “Are we going to outlaw, like, Patrick Mahomes can’t operate a two-minute drill because he’s the best in the world at it? Like, hey, get Patty on the sideline. This is unfair. This is an unfair advantage for the Kansas City Chiefs. We’re going to outlaw, like, Justin Tucker can’t kick a ball over 50 yards? Get him out of there. It’s too automatic. It’s not fair. He’s too good at it.”
Kelce then brought home his point.
“If it’s an unfair advantage I think you would see the rest of the league doing it at 92 percent. But as we saw Week 1, four other teams missed quarterback sneaks,” he said.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni was asked about the “controversy” Saturday and also pointed to the talent that makes things hum in Philadelphia when it comes to the play.
“Yeah, not everyone has Jason Kelce, Landon Dickerson, Cam Jurgens,” Sirianni said. “Not everybody has Jordan Mailata. Not everybody has Lane Johnson on the other side. Not everybody has that type of quarterback.
“We noticed that last year when people were making maybe some big deals about it. There are a lot that are unsuccessful… But there is clearly a talent to it that our guys have, because it’s not as — maybe it’s automatic right now for the Philadelphia Eagles, but it’s not automatic around the NFL.”
Sirianni’s advice to others?
“I get that some people are complaining about it, but stop it,” Sirianni said. “Stop the play.
“It’s not as automatic as people think as we’re seeing across the NFL.”