When Sean Payton first took the head coaching job in New Orleans, the NFL allowed a runner to stand behind a teammate and push him forward.
Now, Payton is assembling his coaching staff with the Broncos, and the play that involves players pushing other players forward has become more of a common practice across the league.
During a recent conversation with former league Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino, Payton revealed his intensions to implement the rugby-style play into Denver's offense this upcoming season until an official rule change happens.
"I was talking to [Denver Broncos head coach] Sean Payton during Sunday’s game, and he said we’re going to do this every time next season if they don’t take it out,’’ Blandino, now FOX's rules expert, says.
"It amounts to a rugby scrum. The NFL wants to showcase the athleticism and skill of our athletes," he continued. "This is just not a skillful play. This is just a tactic that is not an aesthetically pleasing play, and I think the competition committee is going to take a look at it."
The Eagles perfected the act of pushing a ball carrier, particularly during a quarterback sneak. The play was virtually unstoppable and routinely resulted in a first down.
Blandino compared the scrum-like play to the now-banned use of assistance on field goals and extra point attempts.
"I think the league is going to look at this, and I’d be shocked if they don’t make a change," Blandino told The33rdTeam.com.
If a rule change does ultimately happen, players would likely be flagged if another player is deliberately pushed forward in those short-yardage situations. But for now, the league still allows it.
Player safety is also a factor, as the ball carrier is more prone to injury as he is being pushed in different directions.