ZACH Merrett says learning to shake a tag is benefitting his game.
The Essendon ball winner is averaging 23.5 disposals in 2018 despite pressure from the opposition’s best shutdown players most weeks.
"It's been different – obviously you grow up just running around getting a kick and then you run into the AFL," the Cobden export said.
"You try to earn the respect of your teammates and try to get a kick again, and then to be followed by someone from the opposition trying to stop you every week is a bit of an adjustment.”
Merrett earned All-Australian selection last season, encouraging opponents to more time into negating him this year.
"There have obviously been ups and downs along that journey ... I've been beaten by some taggers and beaten some as well,” he said.
"It's always a fun contest, going head-to-head."
"I'm not going to say I've fully adapted but I'm learning things on the go and I'm certainly seeking out a lot of feedback.
"I'm not going to win every battle but I'm going to try and win as much as I can."