Three-time premiership winner Shane Edwards feels players are losing their groove because they're spending so much "dead time" on the interchange bench under the new rotation laws.
Interchanges have been capped at 75 for 2021, down from 90 last year.
Combined with the return to full-length quarters, it means AFL players are spending significantly longer stints on the bench.
Edwards, who has played 271 games for Richmond over 15 seasons, has noted a big difference this year.
"The rotations - the interchange cap - I feel personally has been the hardest part, probably not the length of the quarters," Edwards told RSN Breakfast Club.
"You're able to get to the bench, but you're probably spending seven or eight minutes there rather than three minutes.
"The recovery difference isn't much - you're pretty much recovered after three minutes. So it's five minutes of just dead time before you can get back out there
"I feel like that probably takes a toll - it probably takes you out of your groove as well in games.
"That's probably something that's been different and I don't think it's really been mentioned a whole lot - players being taken out of their groove just to get to the bench."
The flipside to the reduction on interchanges is that players are now forced to spend more time out on the field.
"You want to get to the bench so bad, once you do get there the guys on the field also struggle to get there because there's less stoppages," he said.
"And the only time you can really get to the bench is if there's goals or stoppages.
"There's a lot less stoppages so you can't actually get back on, so you're sitting there completely fresh, almost needing to warm up."
Edwards says he enjoyed last year's shorter quarters and feels like the return to full-length terms has led to more errors.
"Going back to what was normal it does feel like an eternity," he said.
"I suppose less stoppages probably means that the game's just flowing up and back more and it kind of gets a bit draining - gets hard to watch when it's just circle work with a lot of mistakes because everyone's tired.
"I really liked the shorter quarters last year so I'll be a bit biased and I actually reckon it does go for too long."
Richmond will be aiming to bounce back from last week's 34-point loss to Melbourne when they take on the unbeaten Western Bulldogs at the MCG on Friday night.