Geelong veteran Gary Ablett has taken offence to suggestions he has become a “sniper” following two head-high incidents over the past fortnight, according to coach Chris Scott.
Ablett, 35, was cleared for an elbow on North Melbourne defender Sam Wright after having his one-week ban overturned for a similar hit on Essendon midfielder Dylan Shiel just days earlier.
Scott leaped to the defence of his under-fire star, believing his reputation shouldn’t be tarnished as a result of his recent actions.
"He takes offence to people suggesting that all of a sudden after 330-odd games, he's decided 'I'm just going to go around throwing my arms towards players' heads and get away with it'," Scott told reporters.
"I think genuinely he feels, if now all of a sudden people think he's a bit of a sniper, he'd be uncomfortable with that.
"In days gone by, let's say (former defender) Matthew Scarlett, if I can embarrass him a little bit. If people said, 'Matty, we think you're a little bit of a sniper', he'd almost take it as a badge of honour.
"Gary's different, he doesn't like that reputation, he thinks he's worked really hard to avoid that sort of reputation. And I don't see anything in the last two weeks that should change that."
Scott accepted the dual Brownlow Medallist must address his technique to ensure he keeps his arms and elbows down.
"Not so much on the track but we will do some on the grass if we feel we need to," Scott added.
"Where Gary's erred over the last couple of weeks is that, in our view, in part of trying to minimise the contact and protect himself, he's jumping and turning his body and lifting his arms which leaves him vulnerable.
"That's part of his technique he needs to fix up and we're really confident he will."
The Cats face the Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.