Canterbury five-eighth Josh Reynolds admits he's been a "dumb footballer", and now needs to smarten up in the absence of cool halfback Trent Hodkinson.
Three suspensions and separate arm and knee injuries have limited the 26-year-old to just 15 games this NRL season.
And after his on-field antics cost him his beloved NSW Origin jumper earlier in the year, Reynolds feared his inability to stay on the park might also have lost him a spot in this week's qualifying final against St George-Illawarra.
"For me, if Trent was still fit, him and Moses (Mbye) would definitely be the halves," Reynolds said on Tuesday.
"And whether I was going to come off the bench, or even be in the side, was the question."
Reynolds played his first match in five weeks against the Warriors, having been sidelined by a knee problem suffered against Cronulla in round 20.
The former Blues pivot had also taken a two-game ban for making dangerous contact to the Sharks' Valentine Holmes in the same match.
Previous to that, coach Des Hasler had alternated between Reynolds, Hodkinson and young gun Moses Mbye as he searched for a winning combination in the halves.
But with Hodkinson now gone, Reynolds said the onus was on him to make the necessary changes to his game and provide the composure the incumbent NSW halfback had given to the team.
"He's usually the one that's been the calming influence on the team," Reynolds said.
"I think it's time for me to step up and take that role because Moses, he's such a great player with his running game and playing off the cuff."
"Whereas me now, I have to step up and realise that on fourth tackle, instead of myself taking the line on, it's setting up for the kick or just having that little smart option."
Reynolds, who was the starting five-eighth that led the Bulldogs to the grand final last year, conceded it was going to be a struggle to tone down his natural aggression during matches.
"I'm not going to lie, in the past I have been a dumb footballer," he said.
"I just want to really make sure that I don't keep making the same mistakes.
"I just wish I'd come to this a bit earlier, realising that being a half in this team is more important that doing the things that a front-rower should do."