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Kyle Shanahan shares how 49ers will prepare for Eagles’ “tush push”

Nov 29, 2023 at 3:26 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers aim to secure a victory against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, bringing them closer to overtaking the 10-1 squad in the race for the top seed in the NFC playoff picture. They may need to devise a strategy to counter one of Philly's most potent plays—the "tush push."

The Eagles have proven nearly unstoppable with the "tush push" in short-yardage situations, consistently gaining first downs with the play. Quarterback Jalen Hurts lines up under center with multiple players behind him, taking the snap and relying on those players to push from behind.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan admits that his 49ers won't devote time on the practice field to stopping the play. Instead, they will prioritize playing fundamentally sound football with the hope of avoiding encountering the play altogether.

When questioned about preparing for the Eagles' popular play, Shanahan joked, "We're going to do like 10 live reps of it today, see if I have anybody left after it."

The coach emphasized that it's not something you practice. So, how do you prepare for the possibility of encountering the play on Sunday?

"You coach it up, tell them where we want guys and stuff," Shanahan responded. "Not going to spend a lot of time on it, but we're going to talk about it, show it, and do as good as we can."

The coach believes the play can be stopped but that doesn't come easy.

"Yeah, you want to try to keep [Hurts] out of those situations first and foremost," said Shanahan. "I know it's possible to stop, but I think it's pretty proven that it's extremely hard, so you try to keep him out of those situations."

In a recent radio interview, defensive end Nick Bosa expressed no objections to the "tush push" as long as it doesn't result in injuries.

"I don't know how they get so much push," Bosa said. "So I'll definitely be watching tape on it this week when we get into it. But, yeah, I'm impressed with how good they are at it, and we got to be good on first and second [downs] because you don't want to have to deal with that too much throughout the game."

Bosa added, "Honestly, I think if people are getting hurt, then it would be something I would be against. But if that's not happening, then more power to them."

Linebacker Fred Warner didn't want to divulge too much information regarding his plan to attack the "tush push" but smiled and said, "No secret sauce. I can't give away my game plan right now. I don't want to give too much away, but we'll try to have a plan for when they do run it."

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