sport news EXCLUSIVE: Philadelphia Eagles' unstoppable 'tush push' gets boost from ... trends now
The Philadelphia Eagles have kicked up a storm in the NFL by running a play similar to a rugby maul — and they’ve drafted in a former Scotland coach to take it to the next level.
Labelled the ‘brotherly shove’ because it is best played by the team from the city of brotherly love, the move sees two players line-up behind their quarterback to push him into the line during the play.
Generally used when a team aims to gain a yard or so, the tactic — also called ‘the tush push’ — is proving to be very effective.
Some are calling for it to be banned because they feel the way the Eagles play it is illegal. Certainly, when well done, it is impossible to stop — and the effectiveness of the play is currently dominating headlines in the USA.
The Eagles staff look on such criticism as professional jealously and they’ve left no stone unturned in their bid to improve its potency even further, which is where Scots-born coach Richie Gray comes in.
Rugby coach Richie Gray was appointed by the Eagles to help improve the 'brotherly shove'
The Eagles got a lot of criticism for using the play, some asked for it to be banned from the NFL
Rugby fans will know Gray from his time as part of Vern Cotter’s backroom staff with Scotland and also for successful spells as an assistant coach with the Springboks and the South Africa sevens team.
Gray, from Galashiels, has recently signed a three-year contract extension to work with Toulon in France, while he has his own training equipment company that supplies rugby clubs and NFL sides.
His profile has exploded over the last few days since sports programmes started to debate ‘the brotherly shove’. Podcasts, TV shows and radio broadcasts have all been examining the play. It has always been in existence but, since Gray started advising the Eagles on how to perfect it a few months ago, it has become a massively divisive topic.
In total, in 53 out of the 60 times that the Eagles have run the ‘brotherly shove’ over the last year or so — they were using it before Gray got involved — they have converted a