A lot of previous posters have nailed it but because Baggers has been my favourite player for the past three years I want to offer my opinion to filter out misguided comments.
There's a saying in Boxing: "Getting old overnight". That is, losing an edge, a fraction of reaction time, being on the wrong side of time. It happens in all sports, although it's not as obvious as in boxing.
It is, however, obvious in AFL if you watch closely. Scott Lucas played probably the best quarter of football in the last round in 2007, injured his posterior cruciate ligament in Round 1 2008 and eventually returned as a shadow of his former self. Jason Johnson's years of being a crash and bash warrior impacted on him like a ton of bricks.
But, the most relevant example is Mark Johnson. He was never blessed with speed. But he was handed the small defender role and for years he successfully hid this deficiency with aggression and his bullying competitive nature. In his last year at EFC he lost "an edge" and fell off a cliff; slick small forwards like LaCras could separate from him with ease.
Today, Baggers showed all of these signs. Efforts that previously have been controlled desperation at a contest were panicked desperation. Attempting low percentage spoils that took him to ground and out of the next contest ... it didn't help that he constantly stood three metres behind his opponent. It was uncomfortable to watch, particularly considering that he has easily handled Elliott previously.
Yes, Baggers played a good last quarter but the pace had slowed and his good moments weren't against an opponent.
I'm concerned. Aside from standing metres from his opponent and going to ground in unrealistic attempts he occasionally took to the air to attempt pack spoils when it wasn't needed.
I'm also concerned about Stants, and Zaharakis and Jobe's not as assured and reliable. Oh, and James Kelly has become a ' Watch this Space'. But I take Baggers' struggles much more personally.