Philadelphia Eagles WR DeVonta Smith explains what really goes on during the ‘tush push’: “I ain’t trying to get up in that pile, man,” says Smith, “Bad things happen when you’re in the pile”

Eagles WR DeVonta Smith explains what really goes on during the ‘tush push’
from Michael Gallagher, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

The Philadelphia Eagles have a nearly unstoppable play — one that the NFL plans to discuss banning next season.

But just because it’s highly successful doesn’t mean it’s without consequence, just ask Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith, who recently explained on the “This is Football” podcast what actually happens inside the “tush push” scrum.

“For folks that’s never been at the bottom of the pile, you can’t breathe,” Smith stated. “It’s just like, everybody’s on top of you. No matter how hard you try to breathe, it just doesn’t work. … I think at this point (our guys) just lay there. They don’t say nothing, they just be laying there, just waiting for somebody to help them up.”

Philly’s success rate on the “tush push” is a little north of 81% — higher than any other team in the NFL — partially due to the size of its offensive linemen, who on average stand at 6-foot-5 and weigh 325 pounds, and excel at getting lower than opposing defensive linemen.

On a typical “tush push,” Smith prefers to line up on the outside of the O-linemen instead of in the backfield behind quarterback Jalen Hurts, where he would be tasked with charging forward and pushing him across the line of scrimmage.

“Man, I’m [going to] push a little bit, but then, look, I ain’t trying to get up in that pile, man,” Smith said. “Bad things happen when you’re in the pile.”

Because of the nature of the play, which resembles more of a rugby scrum than a typical quarterback sneak with two players lining up behind the QB to help push him forward for extra yardage, the NFL is gathering data including injury statistics and success rates, which will likely factor into its decision whether or not to outlaw the play next season.