Gold Coast star Jamal Idris once wanted to knock Albert Kelly's head off but now he's wishing nothing but the best to the diminutive playmaker.
Kelly is trying to revive his career at the Titans after being dumped by both Cronulla and Newcastle for a string of off-field indiscretions.
The 21-year-old has already claimed the No.7 jersey vacated by former captain Scott Prince since joining the Titans in November, taking a starring role in Sunday's 36-0 thrashing of Canberra at Skilled Park.
Kelly scored two first-half tries and set up another in a display that showed just why so many clubs are willing to give the troubled half a chance.
And Idris, who played against Kelly at NSW schoolboys level, believes this time Kelly will show the maturity and responsibility that he previously lacked.
"I remember when I used to play him ... Soon as he got the ball he was the kind of bloke that you just wanted to take his head off," Idris said.
"But that gives him a lot of credit ... The thing about him is he fits in with the boys amazingly.
"He himself knows what he has to do to get himself on the right track and he's been doing that. It's showing on the field as well."
Titans coach John Cartwright is impressed, but he knows it will take more than one or two good performances to confirm Kelly has changed his wayward past.
"Everyone's always known his ability. We've seen it in his short stints with other clubs," Cartwright said.
"He brings all the things that you want in a halfback. His challenge now is to do that and build on it for the rest of the season.
"He's showing if he keeps his head down, he can fulfil that potential."