Brisbane defender Marcus Adams lives in constant fear of "looking like an idiot" but has learnt to accept that as he prepares for another of the AFL's toughest challenges.
The former Western Bulldogs back missed the start of the season through injury but has emerged as a crucial defensive piece for Chris Fagan ahead of the AFL finals.
He kept Tom Hawkins scoreless in Saturday's incredible one-point comeback defeat of Geelong - a win that put the Lions on top of the ladder - and will likely get the job on Richmond gun Jack Riewoldt in the final round at the MCG.
They are two of the toughest assignments in the AFL but Adams, unbeaten in all seven starts as a Lion, has shown he can handle it.
"I was really gun shy in my first few weeks and got taken to the footy and that's not my one wood," he said
"I changed some things to get back to playing my way ... you've got to have that confidence you can do the job but there's that voice on the other shoulder that he (Hawkins) might kick a bag on you and you'll look like an idiot."
Coach Chris Fagan admitted that it would have been tough for the 26-year-old to feel comfortable when he arrived at the Gabba.
"I'm so pleased for him; it's like anywhere you come when you're new, you want to earn the respect of your teammates and he earnt a huge amount today," Fagan said.
The pair will nut out another plan to stop Riewoldt at the MCG, just as they did for Hawkins in Brisbane, while Harris Andrews' battle with Tom Lynch will also command attention.
Adams said he enjoyed doing the theory in the lead-up to an assignment but that it was handy having Andrews nearby when plans failed.
"He's a star; it's so nice if you get caught out, he comes flying in with his big inspector gadget arms," Adams said.
"And (the midfielders creating) pressure up the field ... you can't play without that."
Australian Associated Press