Three-time premiership coach Mick Malthouse believes Richmond star Jack Riewoldt has lost his pace.
It comes after Riewoldt just had one of his best performances for the season, kicking four goals against second-place Brisbane on Wednesday night to help guide the Tigers to a 41-point win.
However, the former Collingwood and Carlton coach declared he is “frightfully slow” and that the end could be near.
“I reckon I know players and I see Jack as inches off the edge of the cliff,” Malthouse said on ABC’s Grandstand.
“Because one of the things he had was a bit of toe over the first five (metres). He had jumping power. No doubt tonight he’s kicked four goals.
“I see Jack at the moment – he’s frightfully slow. He’s not going to get quicker. His body has been punished … you know he’s been a key position player for 12 or 13 years and that takes its toll.
“Not many players can lose pace and still be as effective.
“Now the other thing about Jack Riewoldt, he’s not 6 foot 5. You know he’s that medium to tall player.
“I think it’s been fantastic that he’s kicked four but I don’t think he’s going to get that same opportunity against other sides.
“(Tom) Lynch will still kick big goals and I think their mediums will kick goals. I think Jack’s a spiritual leader down there … he’s just a great bloke Jack.
“I hope I’m wrong, but I think the cliff is getting very, very close. If they meet a bigger-bodied side that’s going to push the ball out and about and you have to fight for your football 15 metres away … Jack won’t get to it.
“If it gets put on the top of his head, it may.”