Pure Footy: David King, Daniel Hoyne lift lid on AFL trends, stats after round 2

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Devon Smith of the Bombers.
Camera IconDevon Smith of the Bombers. Credit: News Corp Australia

When Devon Smith joined Essendon in 2018 it was hailed as one of the trades of the season.

Smith won the Bombers’ best-and-fairest in his first year at the club and set an AFL record for tackles, laying a massive 186 in 22 games to rank as the league’s No.1 pressure player.

It’s an area Smith, and Essendon, are struggling in right now in a big way.


In the first two rounds Essendon’s pressure rating of 171 is well below the AFL average, and the club has laid just 72 tackles in total across both games.

In his best-and-fairest season, Smith had 18 to his name by this stage. This year he has two.

And status guru Daniel Hoyne revealed on Pure Footy, the exclusive analysis show available on heraldsun.com.au, he’s not the only culprit in black and red.

Essendon v Collingwood
Camera IconDevon Smith had just four disposals against the Lions. Michael Klein Credit: News Corp Australia

“The area for me that really does need to improve is their pressure, or lack of pressure,” he said.

“To lay 40 tackles or 32 tackles in round 1 and round 2, that’s not AFL standard.

“A pressure rating of 171 in both games, if that continues for the year they are going to be a bottom two or three pressure team for the season.

“(Zach) Merrett’s only laid six tackles in two games, (Andrew) McGrath five, (Jye) Caldwell four, (Darcy) Parish three, (Dyson) Heppell three, Devon Smith two. They are poor numbers.”

In another packed show, Hoyne and North Melbourne premiership champion David King also revealed Ken Hinkley’s biggest headache ahead of Friday night’s Showdown, Sydney’s incredible efficiency, what’s up with Lachie Whitfield and the importance of the “one-man wall” for every club.

Originally published as Pure Footy: David King, Daniel Hoyne lift lid on AFL trends, stats after round 2

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