Essendon coach Brad Scott says ruckman Sam Draper still has plenty of scope to express his personality and be funny — just not at the expense of an opposition coach.

Draper earned the ire of Essendon and Western Bulldogs officials for his podcast comments in which he questioned the future of Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge.

While imitating a journalist as part of a fun role play, Draper stated some Bulldogs players would request a trade at season’s end if Beveridge stays on as coach.

Beveridge labelled the comments as bizarre, and Scott wasn’t happy either.

“I was really disappointed in Sam, and he’s very, very clear how disappointed I was,” Scott said after Essendon’s thrilling six-point win over West Coast on Saturday night.

“He thought he was in an environment where he thought he was being funny, and I said, ‘mate, it’s the furthest thing from funny, it’s disrespectful’.

“Our club has had to fight extremely hard for a long period of time to earn respect back in this competition, and that’s just one thing that eats away at that.

“I was really disappointed in him, but at the same time I see these as opportunities to help educate and work with players.

“It’s not about hanging him out to dry, but he knows that he did the wrong thing.”

Although Scott wasn’t happy with Draper’s podcast comments, he’s encouraging the 25-year-old to keep being a character — within reason.

“I think the game’s got plenty of room for a bit of colour,” Scott said.

“Drapes adds massive colour.

“I see a lot of four- and five-year-olds running around with mullets with the number two on their back on an Essendon jumper, and it’s fantastic. I love it.

“He’s a very marketable type of guy and he’s a lovable guy. He’s such good fun to be around and such a great club man.

“But there is a line in terms of what is colour and what’s extroversion and what’s disrespectful.”

Draper was a notable absentee from the win over West Coast, with Scott confirming the move was made to rest the ruckman’s sore knee.

“We would have loved him tonight, but we went through a cycle last year with Drapes where we kept playing him and he had a sore knee,” Scott said.

“I just wanted to break that cycle. So provided his knee is fine, he’ll play next week.”


Sports content to make you think… or allow you not to. A newsletter delivered each Saturday.