NFL is still monitoring the quarterback push play

nfl is still monitoring the quarterback push play

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 26: Philadelphia Eagles score a tush push touchdown during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Philadelphia Eagles on November 26, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There’s a report making the rounds that Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to see the Eagles’ quarterback push play, by whichever name it is called, out of the game for good. While we can’t vouch for Goodell’s personal feelings on the matter, the reality is that the league continues to keep an eye on the play.

Per a source with direct knowledge of the situation, the NFL is monitoring it. There is no push, yet, to push the push play out of the game.

At the end of last season, “many” clubs asked the league to look into it. The league has noticed that roughly 18 teams have used some variation of the play.

“Clubs have now expanded play options from this formation,” the source said.

Ultimately, 24 owners would have to vote to get rid of the play. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie undoubtedly would vote “no” on any such proposal. Earlier this year, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones surprisingly endorsed the play.

Goodell’s personal feelings won’t matter, if at least nine owners are fine with it. While nothing stops Goodell from aggressively twisting arms (as he apparently did earlier this year to secure the ability to flex Thursday games to Sundays and vice-versa), he’d have to be willing to expend more political capital if he’d be going against the will of nine or more owners who aren’t willing to vote the play out of the game.

It’s actually good for offensive football. For the Eagles, who have perfected it, first-and-10 has essentially become first and eight. If more teams can perfect it, more yards will be gained, more drives will be sustained, more points will be scored.

The NFL definitely wants more points to be scored. That fact becomes obvious in years where scoring is up — and the NFL sends out repeated press releases trumpeting that fact to those who cover the game.

Thus, regardless of whether the Commissioner personally does or doesn’t want the play to go, the real power resides with nine or more owners. If at least nine say “keep it,” nothing the Commissioner says or does or believes will matter.

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