And the trademark Malthouse defensive strategies were in motion as his remodelled Blues engaged in a full-scale scratch match at Visy Park on Wednesday.
Yarran was a noticeable on-baller as the Malthouse blueprint for defensive operations with his reputed “box press” in motion at stoppages which was a cornerstone to his 2010 premiership triumph with Collingwood.
Effectively at any stoppage and especially in a Malthouse-coached forward division, his key defenders press toward the ball-up in a “boxed” formation to make any opposition forward ball transition congested and contested.
The Blues also appear to be rehearsing a distinct boundary-line forward movement plan which was a trademark in basic Malthouse coaching through his decade at Collingwood and the 1990s in his dual premiership time at West Coast.
Key flanking and line-breaking defenders Jeremy Laidler and Nick Duigan both played in the main Blues team and emerged unscathed.
Laidler is on the comeback trail from serious knee problems last season and the tough Duigan had to overcome on-going calf strains that curbed his 2012 when he was restricted to 16 games.
They appear on track to potentially take over the defensive running that was a hallmark of Yarran’s best contributions in Carlton successes early last season before the attacking half-back suffered a severe toe injury and missed a month of action.
The classy Yarran is reported to have been a standout running on the ball in a team that appeared to be a more likely Blues starting line-up against a batch of possible first team contenders.
Almost as significant as Yarran standing out as an influential on-baller, was giant Robbie Warnock leading the main team’s ruck.
Warnock is recovering from a horrendously injury-riddled 2012 and late season shoulder surgery to potentially start as lead ruck force ahead of classy big man Matthew Kreuzer and Shane Hampson.
Kreuzer, 23, was among a host of star Blues conspicuous in missing the important match conditioning and systems workout.
Superstar on-baller Chris Judd, who is nursing a hamstring strain, big utility Jarrad Waite with his calf injury as well as Heath Scotland, Michael Jamison, Eddie Betts and versatile big man Lachie Henderson also sat out the match.
With on-going doubts surrounding the constantly injured Waite, 30, it appears Malthouse could be grooming big Levi Casboult as a key forward marking target and scoring avenue.
Casboult, 22, made an imposing impact last season with his initial six games at the top level but had been expected to potentially settle around goal in tandem with Waite and high-flying scoring source Andrew Walker.
Waite, though, has managed just 23 of a possible 46 games in the past two seasons with a succession of back and hamstring ailments and is expected to miss another month of the current pre-season program with his latest soft tissue leg setback.
A vital outcome in the Blues intense match workout was that no important and prospective first team star reported any further injury problems to medical staff.