With his usual sidekick Darcy Gardiner battling multiple injuries throughout the season, vice-captain Harris Andrews formed a new partnership with Marcus Adams in 2021.
Adams played a career high 17 games in his third season at the Club and produced his most consistent football.
His power in contests and explosive pace made him a tough opponent to play against and the more matches he appeared in, the greater his confidence grew.
He finished the season among the best players in both the finals.
Together Adams and Andrews held down the key posts in a defensive unit that remained in the top 5 in the competition, despite a semi-regular turnover of personnel.
Gardiner missed 15 games, Ryan Lester was absent seven times and Jack Payne played just 10 times, and on one of those occasions he was a key forward.
Andrews was his usual reliable self and although he surrendered the All Australian blazer he had claimed the previous two seasons, he remained one of the premier defenders in the competition.
In fact, a quick scan of his stats show he was unlucky not to have been named in the All Star team for a third straight year.
The Hyundai Academy product led the league in marks, contested defence one-on-ones, spoils and one-percenters and was ranked second for intercept marks and intercept possessions.
Such was his dominance opposition sides now work hard to keep the ball away from the area he is patrolling as they enter the inside fifty.
And his aerial prowess also provided Senior Coach Chris Fagan with another option late in the season when the Club’s stocks of key forwards was stretched. He was swung forward late in the semi-final against the Western Bulldogs and immediately pulled down a strong mark.
The 'Chief' Stands Up in Ballarat
It was a tough opening four rounds for the Lions, but while Round 4's result against the Bulldogs didn't go in our favour, Harris stood up when it mattered.
The return of Darcy Gardiner seemed to free up the 24-year-old, as he roamed up the ground and collected 23 touches.
A 50-metre penalty saw Andrews return to his roots, launching a 53m bomb to kick a vital goal to steady the ship for the visitors.
Impressively, our Vice-Captain also clunked 12 marks and had 9 one-percenters, both areas he led the competition in all year.
Disposals - 15.3 (Elite)
Kicks - 9.5 (Above-Average)
Handballs - 5.7 (Elite)
Intercept Marks - 3.8 (Elite)
Spoils - 8.6 (Elite)
The 'Specimen' Flexes His Muscles
In one of his most dominant performances of the year, Marcus Adams showed his aerial ability in Round 16 against Adelaide.
In front of a hostile Adelaide Oval crowd, the Crows surged the footy forward in the first half and kept our defenders on their toes.
Enter Adams, who took to the skies, taking 8 marks while collecting a whopping 14 intercepts.
Brisbane Lions fans loved what they saw, voting Adams the Round 16 MVP of the Week for his 18 disposal, 4 tackle game.
Disposals - 13.9 (Above-Average)
Kicks - 9.8 (Above-Average)
Tackles - 1.8 (Above-Average)
Spoils - 6 (Above-Average)
Intercept Marks - 2.6 (Above-Average)