You don't play three seasons alongside a bloke, win a premiership and three minor premierships with him and not get a decent handle on what makes him such a good player.
Jimmy Maloney is a champion bloke. A real good fella and a good mate of mine. He is also a player of real quality who come Saturday, is the Panther we are going to have to shut down if we want to come away from McDonald Jones Stadium with a second straight win.
People often ask me why Jimmy has been so successful wherever he has gone. One reason is he is no dummy. He always picks good teams to go to. But really, he is just a very smart footy player.
He's instinctive, he plays what he sees and he's a real competitor who competes on every play but never gets fazed if it's not happening for him.
To be honest, I think the reason he has been to so many clubs during his career is he is so laid back and doesn't care. He just sees any move as a new challenge.
That calmness you see from him on the field is real. That's his make-up. He just doesn't get fazed. He won't come off after a game and stress out that he's missed 10 tackles and copped a heap of criticism. It doesn't affect him.
If he has thrown an intercept or hasn't kicked well, it just goes through to the keeper with him. People say that he doesn't appear to stress and the pressure doesn't get to him and it's true.
He is a big game player because he's got that personality where things don't bother him. He's relaxed, doesn't get uptight and just enjoys the moment and generally plays well regardless of what else is going on around him.
I think it's why he has played so well at whatever level he has played at. He is one of those players who can sense what the moment requires, what play he needs to come up with.
He's just a really good analyser on the run and the beauty of his personality is he doesn't get caught up in the emotion of the contest.
We used to compliment each other well because I was probably doing the bulk of the organising but we also rotated our roles a bit which allowed me to run more and him to take over the control of the team as well.
In saying all that and acknowledging he's a bit blase and has a laugh and comes across as a real knockabout guy, there is still a good, deep soul there and it's not all that it seems with him. He is a real family man with four young kids. I've always had a heap of time for him.
I have no doubts he is a really good influence for Nathan Cleary at the Panthers.
With Cleary being a young, up-and-coming playmaker, what I see in their partnership is Jimmy taking a lot of the pressure and responsibility of leading the team on his shoulders.
I probably see him as playing more of the No 7 role in a way and I think in Origin last year, he did the same with that younger spine.
As for Penrith on Saturday, there is no doubt they will be a real threat. They will quickly want to turn around what happened in round one against the Eels and fix all the mistakes and penalties they gave away and Jimmy will drive all that and I'm sure Nathan will be looking for a good game off the back of it.
The battle up front will be another good one and a further test for our big boys but for us, we want to hold onto the core of how we played against the Sharks, which was an emphasis on completions and a real grinding, tough style of footy with a good kick and chase.
On top of that though, I want to improve the team by making sure we take our attacking opportunities a bit better and being a bit more clinical with the footy in hand alongside Kalyn.
It's about trusting what we have been working on right through the pre-season. Yes, there were probably six or seven opportunities on the weekend that could have led to tries but it wasn't as though we weren't creating anything which would be more of a worry.
We did show some good composure not to get flustered when it wasn't happening for us and I thought Kalyn was outstanding in that department with his kicking, his coolness under pressure and the fact he wasn't always looking for the big play.
Overall though, I'm rapt we produced that tough style of footy against the Sharks. We'll need more of the same against the Panthers with some more polish on the end of our attacking sets to get the result again.