The 49ers will be the next team trying to defend the unique offensive short-yardage formation the Eagles deploy, the 'tush push.' Thankfully, there's Fred Warner.
There are plenty of things the San Francisco 49ers must be mindful of when they square off against the one-loss Philadelphia Eagles in a high-profile Week 13 showdown between two teams that met last January in the NFC Championship game.
Sure, Philly brings a high-octane offense and an MVP candidate in quarterback Jalen Hurts.
But there's also the unique offensive play to ensure a short-yardage gain in such situations.
The "tush push."
In what looks like a victory formation, the quarterback essentially gets pushed for a sneak, and it's nearly impossible for defenses to stop on a situation when there's less than a yard to go. Plus, given the frequency at which Philadelphia uses it, the play has sort of become a team staple.
OK, so, how will the Niners defend against it?
Fred Warner might be 49ers' key to defeating 'tush push'
On Wednesday, head coach Kyle Shanahan jokingly admitted that San Francisco won't spend time worrying about the unique play aside from discussing various assignments.
"No, you don’t practice it," he said.
Instead, the 49ers will likely watch tape and ensure assignments are correct.
"You just coach it up, tell them where we want guys and stuff," Shanahan continued. "We’re 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."
That said, one particular player might be useful at stopping the "tush push:" linebacker Fred Warner.
There's proof, too. On a similar play back in Week 7 against the Minnesota Vikings, Warner dove over the line of scrimmage when the Vikings attempted it in a goal-line situation, and the play went in the Niners' favor because of the All-Pro:
Granted, the play takes perfect timing, but Warner appears to have had the practice.
And that experience could come in handy on Sunday when both the 49ers and Eagles square of on Dec. 3 from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.