JOBE Watson didn't plead with James Hird to reconsider his decision to walk away from the club, believing the coach had made his call to give the players a chance to move on from the supplements saga.
However, a "sad" Watson admitted the players would not be able to overcome the torment of the past three seasons under ASADA and WADA's glare until the Court of Arbitration for Sport handed down a final decision on their futures.
The Essendon skipper, who hasn't played since the Bombers' round 14 loss to St Kilda due to a shoulder injury, said the players did not try to talk Hird around from departing his post when he informed them on Tuesday of his decision.
"When your senior coach makes that decision then you know in their mind they've made it, and the call's come," Watson said on Tuesday after Hird announced his resignation at the club's Tullamarine headquarters.
"Whether or not you make a plea and say 'No, you should do this', that is beside the point.
"The decision's been made, they've made it and he's made it in what he believes is the best interest in the football club moving forward."
With WADA's appeal hearing tipped to start in mid-November, the Essendon players are still months away from knowing their footballing fate.
While many believed the Bombers could not move on with Hird at the helm given his role at the club when the supplements program was undertaken in 2012, Watson said it would be impossible for the players to do that until they were cleared.
"We won't be able to put it behind us until it's over," the Brownlow medallist said.
"What he's done is tried to make it as easy as possible for the players and the fans and the football club to move forward and try and get some of that space.
"I'm talking holistically, I don't think the players can have complete space until it's over."
Watson has also been a face of the saga, admitting earlier this year that he had lost some of his passion for the game as a result of the 30-month scandal.
During his press conference, Hird said he had some hesitation in leaving the players at a time when they were still vulnerable, but hoped to continue provide "strong guidance and care" from a distance.
His final message to the players on Monday was that they had not fractured throughout the saga.
"Adversity is a friend that defines who we are. We can fight it, or we can succumb to it," Hird said.
"In life you will not always win, you will make mistakes, you will always not have success at a chosen goal. But in our life if we let a challenge or an adversity break us and destroy our life, then we have truly failed.
"The adversity that we have struggled through has not broken us, so I don't believe that we have failed."
Watson supported the view to not let the past three years define their playing careers, saying it had been a damaging process.
"This whole thing has just changed people, and no-one's for the better because of it, and that's sad," he said.
Essendon players watch on as James Hird speaks. Picture: AFL Media