Dieter Kurtenbach: The Eagles' 'Tush Push' is the NFL's best play. The 49ers know the secret to stopping it.

Dieter Kurtenbach, Bay Area News Group on

Published in Football

The NFL’s most famous play might also be its most straightforward.

And on Sunday, when the 49ers play the Eagles, it’s must-see TV.

You can call the play the Tush Push, the Brotherly Shove, or, simply, the Eagles’ quarterback sneak.

But no matter the moniker, Philadelphia has run it so often and so effectively that there have been calls for the league to ban the play.

“People can’t do it like we can,” Eagles coach Nick Siriani said in October. “Don’t ban this play. If everyone could do it, everybody would do it.”

In a league where offensive schemes are as layered as ever, there’s beauty to The Tush Push. The play works not because it’s ornate and complicated but because it’s simple and fundamental.


It’s a test of brawn in a sport that seems keen to move away from that sort of thing.

It’s a mass of humanity, seemingly picking up a yard (or more) at will.

Is it ugly? Absolutely.

Is it safe? Probably not. Other teams have tried it and injured offensive linemen and quarterbacks.


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