When he had the players he was quite aggressive in counter attack play, and if anything Richmond adopted this style, just with a much better list.
I already conclusively disproved this notion in the thread Richmond 2017 v Ross Lyon's Saints & Dockers.
Ross Lyon football involves manic pressure on the ball carrier and lots of forward pressure, but also involves keeping players behind the play to prevent high scoring. So when Lyon teams don't have the ball, they press hard. When they do, they play the cautious approach and build slowly using short passing and lots of uncontested marks.
Don't believe me? Have a look at the last two Ross Lyon teams to make the grand final:
In 2010 St Kilda were
10th for inside 50s per game
1st in disposals per inside 50
1st for uncontested marks per game
1st for uncontested marks per inside 50
2nd for uncontested marks per disposal
1st for uncontested possessions per inside 50
1st for uncontested possessions per game
2nd for percentage of possessions uncontested
In 2013, Fremantle were
15th for inside 50s per game
4th for disposals per inside 50
1st for uncontested marks per game
2nd for uncontested marks per inside 50
1st for uncontested marks per disposal
4th for uncontested possessions per inside 50
9th for uncontested possessions per game
8th for percentage of possessions uncontested
Now what's Richmond's style? Does it involve much uncontested disposals and marks? Is it fairly cautious in terms of how much it attacks? Well, no.
In 2017, Richmond were
3rd for inside 50s per game
17th for disposals per inside 50
17th for uncontested marks per game
18th for uncontested marks per inside 50
13th for uncontested marks per disposal
18th for uncontested possessions per inside 50
18th for uncontested possessions per game
18th for percentage of possessions uncontested
So Richmond attacked with abandon and pumped the ball in as soon as they won it, no chipping of the ball, no sideways kicks, quick and attacking ball movement. That's not just unlike Ross Lyon football, that's the antithesis of Ross Lyon football, which prides itself on careful ball movement.
Stats sometimes lie. They don't here. And before you give me some hoary bullcrap rant about how statistics don't matter, because you watch the game, so do I. And these figures say the same thing that my eyeballs do, Richmond's gameplan, especially with the ball was not classic Ross Lyon football.
Bigfooty seems obsessed with the fact that Richmond and Fremantle defended similarly and equally well without looking at their style of ball movement and ignoring the fact that most premiership sides, not just Richmond defend well and pressure. Hawthorn's pressure and defensive abilities were elite. They didn't have to defend that much because the ball was usually at the other end, but when they did, they did it better than anyone else. Lyon sides also pressure well, so do Sydney under Longmire.
What makes a premiership side a premiership side is what they do with the ball. Do they play a more simpler game based on attack and direct ball movement? Or do they try and hold up the play and control the ball, which is harder in finals as things become more contested and things go wrong? This is why I'm not really surprised Lyon sides can't win grand finals, because it's based on a keepings off uncontested brand of football which doesn't hold up in finals as it limits your chances to score and can easily be unraveled through pressure. It's great if you want to squeeze the bejeesus out of some bottom four team travelling to Perth and you restrict them to 39 points for the game, but not good if you come against a team with genuine attacking firepower that's harder to contain and a team which pressures back.
I wrote that in 2017, and not that much has chanced in Richmond's 2019 and 2020 premierships. Manic surging ball movement, one of the highest inside 50s rates of the competition, and a team which plays with risk, playing it long and direct. It's not "pretty" because it's not precise kicking and involves a lot of heavy forwardline pressure which leads to inside 50 scraps. Not because it's some cautious, slow, plodding, defensive gameplan a la Lyon.
I don't think looking at The scores is misleading to be honest.
Read what I wrote above.