Sean Payton will use “rugby scrum” play until NFL changes rule

Coinciding with Sean Payton’s first year as Saints head coach, the NFL changed the rules to allow a teammate to push a runner. As Payton begins his first year as head coach of the Broncos, some teams finally embrace the rule as a means to gain a strategic advantage.

Payton, who ended his year-long stint with Fox during Super Bowl LVII, told Fox rules analyst Dean Blandino that Payton would regularly use the opportunity to push a runner from behind until the rule was changed.

“I think the league will look into this and I’ll be shocked if they don’t make changes,” Blandino said in an article posted on

“I spoke to Sean Payton during Sunday’s game and he said we’ll do it every time next season if they don’t take him out,” Blandino added. “It’s like a rugby match. The NFL wants to showcase the athleticism and skill of our athletes. It’s just not a good game. It’s just a tactic, not an aesthetically pleasing game, and I think the Competition Commission will look into it.”

Previously, the pushing of the runner occurred spontaneously, in an open field. This is not part of the game design as the Eagles are refining tactics. They rarely called.

Thus, the rule may return to what it was in 2005 and earlier. The best compromise might be a tackle box-only runner push scheme. Presumably no one could come up with a play that deliberately pushes the ball out of bounds.

However, someone will definitely try.


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