Essendon assistant coach Mark Harvey has debunked claims the Bombers are "soft".
A Herald Sun article written on Saturday contained some stats that suggested Essendon is playing "powderpuff football".
Harvey told Triple M pre-game he wasn't too thrilled to wake up to it.
"About six o'clock this morning, Duck, I woke up to that," he said.
"It doesn't sit well with me at all."
Harvey said the Champion Data stats in that article can "give you an image" that doesn't necessarily represent reality.
"There's obviously a fair bit of Champion Data stuff in that article that reverts to us looking like we're soft. I don't think that's necessarily the case," he said.
"I think it's more how we apply ourselves as the game wears on. We've got some midfielders that we really need to share the load more than what we're doing, to make sure we're sustainable.
"I think we play a really attractive brand of football, I think we're very attacking (and) fast moving. Perhaps that takes its toll, too.
"I don't think we're soft. You can always look at statistical data (but it) can sometimes give you an image that's not necessarily the case.