A report by The Age today claimed that at least one player had criticised Teague over a lack of clarity in the game plan, while another questioned the thinking behind team selection. The comments were leaked to the Melbourne masthead.
Leppitsch lashed those who had taken aim at Teague without revealing their names.
“I get disappointed when I hear even the rumours that may not even be true of players going to whether it be a board member and bad mouthing the coach,” Leppitsch said on SEN.
“To me, I’d be looking at that player straight away saying, ‘You’re the first one out. If you are going to go down that path, you are untrustworthy in my opinion. I don’t care who you are’.
“So I think if the board do hear stuff like that from players, they’re the first ones I’d be ringing and saying, ‘You’re not a part of what we want, I don’t care who you are’.”
Leppitsch presumably has one of the strongest grips on culture in the game, given his storied involvement in premiership success.
The Victorian was a member of Brisbane’s premiership three-peat between 2001 and 2003, before serving as an assistant coach at Richmond as the Tigers surged to the 2019 and 2020 titles.
He said “culture first” was the key for the perennial battlers, who are languishing in 14th on the ladder with a 4-8 record after Sunday’s loss to West Coast.
“We’re all different as people, we’re all made up differently, we all have different strengths and different weaknesses. There’s no one out there deliberately trying to hurt your organisation,” Leppitsch said.
“So why speak poorly of David Teague?
“He looks like a guy who always tries his best to get the best out of his team.
“So to do that (complain), to me, I think is low. Those are the sorts of people to me that I’d be looking at straightaway.”
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