FREMANTLE will continue to use Griffin Logue as a swingman to benefit the team, despite a series of standout defensive performances that have seen him break into the Dockers' best backline.
Logue was his team's best player against Sydney on Saturday night, holding Lance Franklin to one goal and adding the champion forward to a list of scalps this season that also includes Jeremy Cameron, Charlie Curnow, Jamie Elliott and Tim Membrey.
With No.1 key defender Alex Pearce expected to return from a calf injury this week, Logue shapes as the player who will be shifted to the forward line for team balance.
Coach Justin Longmuir said he would have no hesitation playing the 24-year-old as a defender every week, but there were scenarios where he provides more value to the team as a forward.
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"He's broken into our best backline, but the luxury he gives us as a team is flexibility," the coach said.
"The fact that he's performed really well as a forward and he can bring some of his backline traits to the forward line, it's where he benefits the team more.
"In my discussions with him he's really open to being a bit of a swingman for us and playing multiple roles within the team.
"It's not a matter of him not breaking into our back six or seven…sometimes we can use him to better the team elsewhere and he's really open to that."
Logue has played 10 of his 14 games this season predominantly as a defender, and in eight of those he has held his opponent below their season average Player Ratings points.
As a defender, he has lost just three of the 31 one-on-one contests he has defended this season, with his 10 per cent loss rate ranking No.1 in the AFL of the top 50 players for total contests defended.
Gold Coast's Mabior Chol had the better of him in 53 minutes in round nine, while Curnow won the pair's return bout in round 15, booting four goals after he was held to two in round six.
Longmuir said Logue's ability to lock down his defensive role early in the season opened the door for him to then play as a swingman when he was shifted forward against Melbourne in round 11.
"Flexibility is a great thing, but I don't think flexibility can be attained until you lock down and get really competent in your position," Longmuir said.
"He got a good run of form as a backman and really got on top of his role and game down there. Until he did that, we didn't really look at it.
"We've probably used 'Coxy' (Brennan Cox) in that role before and we're always after flexibility from one of our tall defenders for balance reasons.
"That game we decided to give him a go and he performed really well, and now he's added that to his game."
Longmuir was hopeful Pearce would return for Friday night's crunch game against Richmond at Marvel Stadium after making steady improvement from a calf injury.
Forward/ruck Rory Lobb has been cleared of structural damage to the right shoulder he jolted against the Swans, with his pain and function improving.
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Longmuir was wary of a Richmond team that could still compete with the best in the competition and score heavily.
He was confident the Dockers would be able to make immediate amends for the defensive lapses that allowed Sydney to pick them apart in a disappointing loss last Saturday night.
"I think it's a real quick fix the defensive stuff. We've proven that we can defend that type of ball movement all year," he said.
"It's been one of our strengths and we just had an off quarter."