A “Brotherly Shove” in Football

Back in the 2022 NFL football season, the Philadelphia Eagles started running a modified quarterback sneak called the “tush push” with great success.

How do the offensive lineman line up to make this play successful?

First, they line up low and bunch up close to each other. In addition to the lineman, there is a tight end on either side of the formation. Standing next to the tight end on either the left or right side of the formation is a wide receiver, and directly behind the quarterback is a running back and wide receiver. Seldomly, there is a running back at least five to ten yards deep in the backfield. There were a couple of times last year where the Philadelphia Eagles pitched it out to that running back.

Once the ball is snapped, everyone fires out low. The reason why they fire out low is because they are trying to get underneath the pad level of the defensive lineman. Interestingly, some non-rugby players consider this to be a rugby play. But no one had a stronger opinion on this topic than current starting left tackle of the Eagles Jordan Mailata. Mailata, a former rugby player from Australia, said the play is not a rugby play on Sports Radio 94 WIP back in September. You could hear the annoyance in his voice. At least in the Philly area, he shut the conversation down rather quickly.

photograph taken from On3.com
photograph taken from OmahaProd.com

This season a great number of teams are running the “brotherly shove” with minimal results. For instance, earlier in the past season the New York Giants played Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. They were in a short yardage situation, and decided to give this play a go. Unfortunately they didn’t get the first down, as Daniel Jones didn’t get any push from his offensive line. Two of their offensive players were injured on the play also.

Brian Daboll, the Giants head coach said after the game that the team didn’t practice it at all beforehand, and just ran it out of nowhere. But as it turns out, the Eagles practice this play as much as they can. This explains why they are so good at it.

On October 10, the Eagles filed for a trademark for the term “Brotherly Shove”. This means that the Eagles, in addition to all their other apparel, would have separate clothing representing the play. (And I personally think this was an awesome decision, and will be getting mine as soon as they are available.)

The NFL has been recently looking into this play however, and could potentially ban it at the conclusion of this season. They are looking to do this because more and more players are getting injured doing the automatic-looking play. As we progress through the rest of the NFL season, I look forward to seeing many more “Brotherly Shove” plays.


image taken from X/FoxNFL