James Tedesco is doubling returns on the Roosters' multimillion-dollar investment in him according to his grateful teammates at the glamour club.
In the wake of Tedesco's latest five-star performance, in which he laid on three tries in against Canberra, Luke Keary declared his fullback "twice as good player" as he was in his first few months at Bondi.
The Dally M table – where Tedesco sits equal second with 12 points – confirms the No.1's stocks rising exponentially on last season's slow start to a lucrative four-year stint with the premiers.
And NRL Stats show Tedesco is delivering serious pay dirt by creating and icing scoring opportunities for the Roosters, an oft-criticised element of their play at the start of 2018.
Tedesco's six tries (compared to two in the same time frame last year) and line breaks (nine v five) best highlight the improvement Keary speaks of.
He was already setting a lofty standard before landing at the Tricolours when it came to tackle busts and run metres.
That he's maintained those levels across his stint at the Roosters – his 55 tackle breaks are the most in the NRL this season – again just underline his elite status in the game.
"We’ve come to expect it from him and he produces every week," Keary said after a 30-24 win over the Raiders in which Tedesco proved the difference.
"If you looked at him 12 months ago to how he’s going now, he’s twice as good a player I think both in attack and defence. He knows his game better now.
"It was around this time last year that a lot of people were questioning stuff like that. I think he's gotten a lot better the last 12-18 months."
In an ominous sign for 15 rivals standing between the Roosters and their bid for back-to-back titles, Tedesco and co. are yet to even "nail a game" in Trent Robinson's eyes, despite sitting atop the NRL ladder with eight wins from nine starts.
And among the class of Tedesco and injury carnage that at one point reduced the Roosters to 14 fit men on Sunday, another telling pointer emerged.
Starting with Cooper Cronk's try in the seventh minute – the second engineered by Tedesco in the space of 60 seconds – Keary met his halves partner with an understated handshake.
In lieu of the typical back slaps, group pile ins and even the flips of former teammate Blake Ferguson, the Roosters repeated the muted try celebration throughout their Magic Round outing.
Nothing much to some, but not a hell of a lot of fuss being made either by a team gunning for much larger prizes further down the line.
"It's just a bit retro, just a handshake, get back to halfway and play on," Keary grinned.
"It's just how we celebrate a try. It's a quick handshake and get on with it."