Essendon veteran Brendon Goddard had solid backing from coach John Worsfold after the hot-headed AFL defender did not hold back with teammates.
Commentators laid into Goddard after several lively exchanges with fellow Bombers in the second half of their poor Anzac Day loss to Collingwood.
Goddard is well-known for his temper and made no excuses post-match, saying he's animated at the best of times.
He had direct words with David Zaharakis and Joe Daniher, as well as assistant coach Mark Harvey at three-quarter time.
Worsfold was sarcastic post-match when asked about it, saying the media would assume the worst.
"The challenge for you guys, is you're making assumptions about what Brendon is saying and how he's saying it," Worsfold said.
"It's not much of a story for you guys to say 'that's really supportive and strong leadership by Brendon Goddard'.
"My guess is you'll go the other way."
Worsfold added Goddard is their most experienced player, a champion of the game and a player who understands the game as well as anyone.
The coach said Essendon players had agreed to give each other strong feedback as they try to improve.
Worsfold was asked if a player could be too demonstrative with his teammates.
"That would be a personal opinion ... I would expect you do what you can to get your message across," he said.
"I will leave everyone else to have the expert opinions on that - we'll have a lot of great body language psychologists making opinion on it."
Goddard's onfield demeanour was a major talking point out of the match and he was unapologetic.
"When myself or anyone else goes away from what we are doing as a team and what we value, we hold each other accountable. They have a right to challenge me ... and vice-versa," he told Channel Seven.
"A lot of times what comes out of my mouth doesn't reflect upon my body language. I am an animated person at the best of times.
"I guess I don't get it across politely but you have to get it across pretty quick.
"The main thing is the follow-up later, which we do (and) there is a time to do that, when there is slow play on the bench, any of the breaks or after the game."