Jason Taumalolo admits both his and North Queensland’s game has long needed more variety as they enter a new era under Todd Payten.
Payten has made clear this preseason he will change how the Cowboys forwards play, starting with using Taumalolo in shorter, sharper bursts.
Part of that will also include a desire that both the co-captain and other forwards offload more, after the Cowboys threw the third least last year.
In comparison the Warriors under Payten offloaded the third most, with their tendency to offer second-phase play significantly increasing once he took over.
“I think that’s something us as a club have lacked for the last few years, a second-phase game,” Taumalolo told AAP ahead of their season-opener against Penrith.
“So if we can get that going and try to add another dimension to our game, I reckon it will really help us.
“A lot of the good teams have been doing that and I think it’s something we need to work on as a team.”
The challenge for the likes of Taumalolo is finding a happy medium between being a damaging runner and creative player focusing on getting an arm free.
He has regularly pointed to the fact his shorter bursts will be reminiscent to the style he played when the Cowboys won the grand final, averaging just 49 minutes per game.
But his focus has traditionally been on breaking tackles and carrying defenders, averaging more post-contact metres than any other player while making the most yards per run of all big men.
“It is fun trying to carry the extra couple of defenders,” he said.
“But I think it’d be a lot handier for the team if we can’t get the second phase happening.
“We don’t want to start throwing grenades out the back.
“It’s just if we do have that arm free and it’s a measured offload I think it’ll be very positive for us.”
Meanwhile the messaging has not been missed at Penrith, who do expect some changes in the Cowboys game on Saturday night.
“You take in as much information as you can. But in round one, it’s hard to work out too much,” Cleary said.
“There are things players will do by nature of what they have always done.
“But you can pretty much bank on whenever a team gets a new coach there will be some new enthusiasm.”