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Report: NFL Competition Committee discusses outlawing ‘push plays’

In the Super Bowl against Kansas City Philadelphia showed how quarterback sneaks could be nearly unstoppable.

NFL: FEB 12 Super Bowl LVII - Eagles vs Chiefs Photo by Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As the NFL Scouting Combine gets underway in Indianapolis this week, many of the league’s movers and shakers happen to be in the same place. So the league’s Competition Committee — made up of league owners, executives and head coaches — has been having preliminary discussions about some potential rule changes that have been widely discussed in recent weeks. columnist Judy Battista — quoting the league’s executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent — says that the committee has discussed “at length” whether offensive players should be allowed to ball carriers forward.

Prior to 2006, NFL rules didn’t allow this to happen. But as the Philadelphia Eagles demonstrated throughout the 2022 season — and in front of a worldwide audience while playing the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII earlier this month — sneak plays that are designed to push the quarterback across the line of scrimmage can succeed at an extremely high rate, which has opened a conversation about whether these plays give an unfair advantage in short-yardage situations.

Battista also says that while there is little support within the committee for the change, an unnamed team has put forth a proposal that roughing-the-passer penalties be made reviewable.

These conversations will continue for the next month — and then the Competition Committee will meet again during the owners’ meetings in late March. Then some of these proposed changes will be voted upon by the owners.

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