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Todd Bowles: Tush push is big advantage for Eagles, have to keep them out of short yardage

Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles says the best way to stop the Eagles from using their "tush push" quarterback sneak is not to let their offense get into short-yardage situations in the first place.

Bowles said he hopes his defense is consistently putting the Eagles' offense into third-and-long situations on Monday night so he doesn't have to worry about Jalen Hurts' ability to take the snap and plunge forward a yard or two.

It’s a big advantage for them,” Bowles said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “I think it’s a very good play. The only way you counter that is to try to not get into it. You want to keep them at 5 or more [yards] if you can. But they do a very good job at getting it in. If I had the answer right now, I’d be upstairs diagramming, calling it and writing books on it.”

Bucs linebacker Devin White agrees that they want to keep the Eagles in third-and-long, but White thinks the key to stopping the play will be Bucs defensive tackle Vita Vea pushing Eagles center Jason Kelce back into Hurts.

“I think we put in certain personnel when we know they’re going to run it,” White said. “Vita gives you kind of an edge and I think I’ll take him over Kelce in the middle all day. Man, we’ve just got to keep them out of it. I think that’s the best way to stop them, is not to let them get into those formations. But at the end of the day, if it does come up, we’ve got have something in play to try and stop it. We’ve just got to have a better push than they do.”

The Bucs did stop the tush push once when they faced the Eagles in Week Three of the regular season, stopping Hurts for no gain on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line. But the Eagles ran it on the next play and scored a touchdown on fourth-and-goal. And the Eagles picked up three other first downs in that game with the tush push. It's not a play that any defense stops consistently.