Justin Leppitsch has been watching Carlton closely in recent weeks and has identified a few things he would tweak with their defensive structures.
The Blues in recent years have played a very one-on-one style of defence, with a lot of pressure put on the likes of Liam Jones, Jacob Weitering, Lachie Plowman and Sam Docherty to beat their opponents and maintain responsibility for them.
Leppitsch explained that Carlton’s style isn’t too common among teams in 2021, particularly with the additional speed on the ball this year.
“I thought they competed really well (against Brisbane). I think one part of their game that can be improved is the defensive part of what they do,” Leppitsch told SEN’s Whateley.
“They’re very one-on-one. One thing that is different between Carlton and most other teams is that because they’re so one-on-one, they don’t have a spare behind the footy a lot.
“They don’t have a player deep behind the ball, they don’t really challenge the opposition.
“So you’ll see Adam Saad in a lot of one-on-one contests where realistically you want to use his offensive strengths of his run and his carry.
“We spoke about Jake Lever and how Melbourne utilise him on a smaller opponent and drop off deep and play almost as a spare at times, half playing on a player, but really not, he’s zoning a particular area.
“I reckon that’s something Liam Jones can do really well. Whether they support Jacob Weitering on the hard matchup and Jones is always floating through or they protect their defence with a spare number, that will help them at least when they win the ball back they’ll have offensive numbers to go to back the other way.
“You’re almost creating a plus one at each end. The game (versus Brisbane) was very much a one-on-one game, so it was who is going to win the one-on-one battles the whole game and often they can be a flip of a coin and I reckon Brisbane is probably better as a contested team one-on-one.
“In the end they eventually wore them down. There are some things they can do.
“I still think the effort is there. I still think they’re trying. At times the system can let you down.”
The Blues take on Essendon this Sunday in an enormous game at the MCG and Leppitsch outlined how the Bombers moved the ball effectively on Anzac Day.
“We watched Essendon probe their way through Collingwood’s defence bit by bit and eventually get to the forward half of the ground and then created a big scramble and scored more from their front half, but they got it down pretty easily,” he said.