EIGHT minutes into James Hird's press conference after Essendon's thrilling six-point win over Carlton, one of the club's media managers interjected to wrap up questions.
Hird stopped him.
"Let them go, keep going," Hird said of the journalists in the room. "Ask what you want to ask."
And so the press conference went for 20 minutes, was televised live across the country, and was the most honest, forthright and open the coach has been since the supplements scandal broke in February.
Hird addressed a number of issues. Here is a selection of his responses:
Hird on if the win over Carlton will be his last game as coach this season
"The club's obviously going through negotiations with the AFL. I haven't had negotiations with the AFL on my future personally.
"We'll wait and see what happens. We've got the commission hearing on Monday and we'll see how that goes.
"I'd love to coach against Richmond [next week]. I'd love to coach against Richmond, I'd love to coach the finals, and I'd love to coach next year. But we'll wait and see what happens.
"I'd love to do it (the resolution) along with the club. Everything I've done has been along with the club, I'd love to finish it with the club. But that will play out and we'll wait and see."
Hird on what he is waiting for before telling his side of the story
??"We've got a commission hearing on Monday. I think you want to make sure before you approach any form of tribunal or charges that you actually do it in the right forum rather than [with a] scattergun effect.
"I've been roundly criticised for not telling my side of the story for the last six months but when I went to the ASADA interview I gave my word to ASADA I wouldn't talk about what happened in that interview, because they didn't want me to pollute the process.
"I was asked by the football club not to talk on two or three occasions when I wanted to which is fine, I'm not upset about that because they didn't want me to pollute the process.
"That process is almost finished. But if someone says they really don't want you to talk, and they're the football club and ASADA, I think you should respect that.
"It's been very difficult to have to hold your tongue."
Hird on returning to coaching if he receives a suspension
"First of all I want to prove I am innocent of 99 per cent of those charges. I look at those charges and they make me sick that they're out there and that people would believe that is the truth about me. I'm determined to clear that up.
"The priority for the club and myself is to clear a lot of those charges up, and then of course I want come back and coach if I do get suspended.
"I started a job almost three years ago now, and we've developed a team into a competitive team. It's not the best team in the AFL but it's a good team.
"We've [had] 14 wins this year, it's the most since 2001 at this club. We're building along the right direction and I love the players I coach, I love the people I work with and I love our supporters.
"This year has brought us all closer together. If I do end up not coaching for a period over time because of suspension I can't wait to come back."
"That's fantastic. If that's what's been said, that's great.
"And as I said, I want to be coaching here for a long time and I've really appreciated the support the club has given me through the six months, and the board, and the players and everyone around the club and the supporters.
"This will hopefully end very shortly and we can move on and accept responsibility for what we need to, and say sorry for what we should say sorry for.
"I think we can really grow from this as a football club."
Hird on taking a suspension to spare the club a heavier penalty
"If it meant the club didn't get premiership points [stripped], it didn't lose draft picks and players were cleared, there'd be definitely a situation ... if that was what the best thing for the club was, yes," he said.
"I don't know how that looks or what that looks like. It's probably too early to speculate."
James Hird answers questions from the media after Saturday night's game. Photo: AFL Media
Hird on opposition supporters booing Jobe Watson
"If someone could answer what he's being booed for that would be interesting. I think the misguided nature of what he was being booed for against West Coast (in round 14) has been cleared up. And what happened around that substance (AOD-9604).
"That seems to me to be cleared up so I'm not sure why he's being booed. If someone could tell me why, it would be great.
"Jobe's a champion. A champion person, a champion player. He's done it as tough as anyone over the last six weeks and to come out and play the way he did and lead his club to a pretty good victory was terrific.
"It's disappointing he's still being booed but I actually don't understand why people would boo Jobe."
?"We haven't made any decision to withdraw that. That's in the hands of the lawyers and the AFL and that will play out as it goes."
Hird on playing finals
??"I hope we do. I'm probably not the right person to ask.
"There's a board, there's the AFL and they have discussions and I find out, not like you guys do, hopefully a bit before then.
"We discussed it tonight [with the players]. We discussed it before the game. To be perfectly honest I said to the players, I don't know what's going to happen over the next two-to-three weeks. I don't know whether we're going to be playing a live game next week, but [I said] let's go and play this game and play it as hard as we can. And we'll deal with that later in the week.
"The good thing about this playing group is we've been very honest with them and they've been honest with me around how they're feeling, how they're coping.
"It would be a tragedy for our playing group if they didn't play finals.
"For me, and I'm giving a personal opinion, it's not a club opinion … I see losing premiership points is something that goes along with cheating. And I don't think we have cheated. So that's my opinion, but I don't make that decision."
Hird on why he wanted to answer questions on Saturday night??
"I've been asked not to answer them, and I just think there's a lot out there. I'm quite happy to sit here and answer them. Sometimes I understand why the club doesn't want things answered, but I think that as long as the questions aren't too controversial then I'm quite happy to answer them.
"I've been constrained by what I've been able to say because I was asked by ASADA to not say anything and I took that very seriously."
Hird on if he deserves to be punished for his role
"It's an interesting question. There's obviously things I am responsible for in the football club which I take responsibility for.
"Whether that requires punishment or not, that's a question for other people to answer."
Hird on if he regrets undertaking the supplements program
"That's a really interesting question.
"I certainly regret what's happened in 2012, some certain aspects of what's happened in 2012. I think the whole club does."
"I was disappointed. Not because it was Mick, just disappointed because the facts … people should comment when they've got all the facts.
"No one outside of our club can have all the facts, so it's not just Mick. Everyone in Australia has had an opinion on what we've gone through.
"I think that on innuendo and half-truths and some facts, it's hard to make a precise comment. I would hope that in the next weeks or coming days we'd be able to get a lot of those facts out there so people will have a better understanding – not a full understanding – of what's happened.
"And we'll be able to obviously show some remorse, show some sorrow, and explain our part of the story, which won't all be good.
"There'll be some parts of the story which we, I, everyone, will be apologetic for. But there'll be some sides to the story that I think people will be surprised at what happened that they didn't think happened."