When the Philadelphia Eagles need a yard or two, they typically will break the huddle and lineup in their “tush push” formation. The Eagles finished last season with a 93.5% success rate and are converting at an eerily similar level so far this season.
Philly has perfected the act of pushing a ball carrier, particularly during a quarterback sneak. The virtually unstoppable play has been a hot topic since last season, with some calling for the league officials to ban the play.
But for now, longtime Eagles center Jason Kelce is responsible for getting the ball into quarterback Jalen Hurts hands whenever they run the now-famous play. But, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Jordan Phillips drew the ire of Kelce during one particular instance of the “tush push.”
During a recent appearance on Philadelphia’s Sportsradio 94WIP, the six-time Pro Bowl center recalled a specific sequence when the Eagles lined up for their trademark play. But what stood out for Kelce was what he believed was Phillips seemingly trying to injury his fellow offensive lineman Cam Jurgens.
Jurgens appeared to jump offsides during the play in question.
“Teams are really trying to stop that play… I thought it was b——- at the time. I really did. I said so to the official on the field,” Kelce said.
“I said, ‘I’ve been running that play a lot of years. I’ve seen people jump offsides. He made zero effort to stop after he jumped offsides. He purposely tried to hurt Cam Jurgens. I thought it should have been a personal foul, and I think he should be fined for that play.’ I thought that play in particular was absolutely a disgrace that the NFL should not allow.”
Kelce also criticized the game’s referees for displaying what he believed was a poor job of officiating on the play.
“I really do. I don’t know Jordan Phillips. He might be the best guy in the world, but that, in my opinion, the NFL needs to do something about. Because that shouldn’t be allowed in this game. I thought the officials did not do a good job of officiating that play. I really did. That was so clearly not an offsides. That was a personal foul. And it should have been stipulated right from that moment.”
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
Jurgens did not appear to suffer an injury on the play, and he did finish the game. Aside from being offsides, officials also did not penalize the Bills defensive tackle. The offside penalty gave Philly five yards and an automatic first down.
The league typically announces fines for on-field conduct several days after a game. It remains unclear whether Phillips will face supplemental discipline as a result of his actions this past Sunday.
At a different point in the game, Phillips along with his teammate Shaq Lawson, appeared to confront fans during the three-point overtime loss at Lincoln Financial Field. Lawson later took to social media to apologize and also explain his side of the series of events.
“Those of you who know me know that I’m all about the fans, and I have a lot of respect for the game I play and my opponents,” Lawson wrote on Instagram earlier this week.
“Before the game started yesterday, there was a fan behind our bench, who was making life-threatening remarks towards us and our families. We asked Philadelphia security to remove the fan, but he was allowed to stay for the entire game. Eventually, our emotions boiled over, and I made a mistake. For that, I apologize, but there are certain lines that should not be crossed.”
Phillips said a fan made threatening statements about his family.
“I love the crowd I love rowdy fans it makes the game fun,” Phillips wrote on Instagram on Monday. “But one thing I’m not going to tolerate is someone threatening me or my family. This is a line that shouldn’t be crossed.”
Kelce shied away from making comments about Phillips’ in-game dispute with the fans.
“Now, I’m not going to comment on the rest of the game. There were things happening with the fans. I don’t know what happened that got him that fired up.”
The Eagles remain home this week for an NFC Championship game rematch with the San Francisco 49ers. The Bills are on a bye week but return to action in Week 14 for a pivotal matchup with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.