Manly speedster Jason Saab says he now blocks out the speculation over his billing as the game's fastest player and says his focus is on football, not pace.
Saab – like most of his teammates – had a tough start to the season out at Penrith, with the premiers not skipping a beat despite the absence of Nathan Cleary.
Saab in particular was targeted, being forced into a massive eight kick defusals and being repeatedly pinned inside Manly's back left corner, finishing with just 55 metres and no busts.
"It was a tough game, they had a game plan and it worked for them but it was a good lesson for me," Saab said.
"It's good to have those physical battles, another lesson in being a first grader and I'll be a better player for it.
"The pressure's a good thing, it makes me a more confident player in that area. It battle hardens you a bit.
"Moving into the next game I'll get more confident out of yardage because I'll know I've been whacked before and dealt with the pressure so there's no reason I can't do it again."
Bullemor finishes off a Sea Eagles sucker punch
Saab laughed that he was "pretty sore" after that game.
"It was a tough physical game and I just hung in there and did my best to hold my own and I believe I did. I learned some lessons out of it and if soreness is the price I've got to pay for that it's definitely worth it."
Speculation among fans and media has grown over the past 12 months as to whether Saab has displaced NSW flyer Josh Addo-Carr as the game's fastest player.
"You want to be the best in any aspect of the game," Saab said.
"As for being titled whatever it is, it's not going to win you a grand final or anything.
"I don't really care about it, it's something that's been spoken about a lot recently. At this point I'm going to just block it out and ignore it, it's not really important to me. My focus is just being a footy player, not just a fast player."
Saab is looking to bounce back against the Roosters, themselves coming off a humbling round one loss, in a game that features a mouth-watering battle between the game's two premier fullbacks in Tom Trbojevic and James Tedesco.
"It's no secret the two best fullbacks in the world are going at it," Saab said.
"It's pretty exciting … I know Turbo will be excited for it, both fullbacks have always got something to prove. It will be awesome, I can't wait to play and I'm sure they can't either."
It was surprising to see the Roosters comfortably beaten at home by the Knights in round one, according to Saab.
"I'm sure it shocked them but it doesn't take away from the footy team they are, they're still a quality footy team and it doesn't matter who they played the week before, they're our opponents this week, it's up to us to control what we can control which is turning up on Friday night and getting the two points," he said.
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