Jury remains out on Broncos recruit Brodie Croft
HE'S been recruited with the aim of ending the Broncos' 15-year wait for a premiership, but questions remain about whether Brodie Croft can be the rudder to steer the ship.
Brisbane, and coach Anthony Seibold, certainly feel he is, having signed the former Storm playmaker on a three-year deal.
The Broncos, who have not tasted premiership success since 2006, have lacked a true controlling half since the Allan Langer and Darren Lockyer glory days.
But former Brisbane five-eighth Ben Ikin believes the jury is still out on whether Croft can be the saviour to end the club's longest title drought.
"I don't know. He is one of the reasons the Broncos are hit or miss for me," Ikin said.
"If I'm brutally honest, and I'm not saying he can't give Brisbane what they need, but why would Melbourne have let him go?
"There's obvious question marks over him in certain areas.
"Stranger things have happened - a shift in clubs, different mix of players, and all of a sudden Brodie Croft (pictured) could take the next step. He certainly has all the tools: a great work ethic, all the skills. He just has to put it together."
Prior to his shock switch to the Roosters, premiership-winning halfback Cooper Cronk was a major influence on Croft's career at the Storm.
Cronk labelled his mini-me as a "tremendous" worker and tipped him to star at Red Hill.
"If there's an area in his game that he needs to improve he will work on it," Cronk said.
"Brodie has all the technical attributes to be a dominant player in this competition and if there are other areas he needs to work on, I'm sure Anthony Seibold is putting in processes to do that, because he will play an integral part in the Broncos' successes."
When asked about the added pressure of donning the club's famous No.7 jersey once worn by Langer, Cronk said the comparison was unfair.
"You can't see, feel or touch pressure. It is what you make it, but if you think it's a big deal then it is," he said.
"The only way you narrow the gap between good and bad performances is through training intensity, not because one of the game's greatest wore it 20 years ago."
Cronk also shot down suggestions Croft had been signed on to unlock Anthony Milford.
"If Brodie goes in with the idea of unleashing Milford, he is going to miss out on his own performance," the decorated halfback said.
"First and foremost, he must make sure his own game is in order, and it's up to Milford to unlock himself."
Michael Ennis said Brisbane were a "big club with big expectations" whose fans' patience was wearing thin.
Ennis, who spent three seasons at the club, said the expectation was a challenge Croft should embrace.
"We saw it last year, they need stability in the spine," Ennis said.
"With the success the club is built on, they won't tolerate no success."