Deplorable defensive efforts have cost the Blues throughout the first half of their season, pushing forward an internal review that has the major figures at the club under the spotlight.
Since the announcement of the review however, Carlton head coach David Teague has managed to galvanise his side. The Blues have bought into a defensive system that is now starting to pay some much needed dividends.
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One major critic that has stopped to smell the roses is 2x Premiership Kangaroo David King, who has changed his tune following the Blues post-bye performances.
“There’s now more assistance coming back. There’s a roll-off effect," King said on SEN Breakfast.
"The half-back flanker rolling back to assist the key position players and the wingers rolling back to assist the half-backs, that sort of thing. It may only be 10 metres off your man, but it’s really important. That 10 metres can cover so much. They haven’t done that for the first dozen rounds."
Being dominated in the clearances on the weekend would have seen an earlier Carlton side mauled, but the improved set-up behind the ball only allowed the Dockers 64 points from 52 forward 50 entries.
Their improved defensive set-up also allowed Carlton to rebound more effectively, leading to their own impressive conversion with 52% of inside 50's leading to scores.
“Since they’ve hit the bye, they’ve been working on some things and I think that makes for really good coaching," King went on to say.
"David Teague needs to get some endorsement for what he’s done defensively over the last few weeks.
"He can now comfortably go into the review and say this is what we had as an issue and we’ve fixed it and we need other pre-season to grow this and become more defensively rigid and have greater defensive integrity.”
Teague's ability to make big adjustments is a huge asset he can bring toward the review and could be vital in keeping him in the top job at Ikon Park.
After two winnable games post-bye showcasing the Blues improvement in the back half, Carlton face a real test this weekend against the rampant Cats who come off a dominant 49 win over the Bombers at GMHBA Stadium.
The past two games have been a great opportunity for the Blues to make the necessary adjustments toward a successful finals-bound side, but the real test will be how the new system stacks up against one of the competitions benchmark sides in Geelong.
The Blues host the Cats at the MCG this weekend.