Lions head coach Dan Campbell doesn’t mind NFL keeping controversial play
The NFL has kept a controversial play in the rule book, but Lions head coach Dan Campbell just sees it as a new challenge for defenses.
The Philadelphia Eagles had a lot of success with what’s called the quarterback “push” play last season, as it’s allowed in the NFL rulebook for a runner to be pushed from behind by teammates. In the Super Bowl, they successfully converted six first downs on quarterback sneaks. That fostered the controversy about the play.
Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions of course faced the Eagles in last year’s season opener, and without exact data they presumably got a close look at the play. At the league meetings last week the NFL competition committee did not change the rule, or ban the push play as the league had before 2005.
Despite the advantage (perceived or otherwise) gained by a runner being able to be pushed from behind, count Campbell among the probably few coaches this side of Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni who is fine with the league keeping it as is.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell sees quarterback “push” play as a challenge defenses will solve
Via Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press, Campbell is good with the league keeping the controversial play and sees it as something defenses just have to find a way to stop.
"I’m all good with it,” Campbell said. “I’ve got no problem, man. Because here’s why, man. I think of it defensively, man, you’ve got to have a plan to stop it. And that’s what fires me up. We’re going to have a plan to stop it.”That’s like my goal is that we come back here next year and it’ll be like, ‘All right, we can’t do that anymore,’” he said. “So, listen, you’ve got something good, then defensively, you’ve got to find a way to stop it. So this’ll be fun.”"
The Eagles were were fourth in the league last year in fourth down conversion rate (68.8 percent), helped in part by going 34-for-38 on quarterback sneaks (per NBC Sports). Not to be discounted, the Lions were 11th in fourth down conversion rate (40.8 percent) and 6-for-10 on 4th-and-1 rush attempts last year, despite rarely calling quarterback sneaks with Jared Goff.
Campbell is not a complainer by nature. So it’s no surprise he simply sees the quarterback “push” play as a challenge defenses around the league will take on, and eventually solve.