Wayne Bennett has a simple answer when asked why he believes he's the man to resurrect James Roberts' NRL career.
"I kind of get him and he gets me. If you want choir boys, then James is not your man," Bennett said after welcoming Roberts into the South Sydney fold following the former NSW State of Origin star's mid-season exit from Brisbane.
It was barely six months after Bennett's hasty departure from the Broncos that Roberts fell out of favour with Brisbane's new coach Anthony Seibold.
The 26-year-old was dumped to reserve grade, having failed to fire after picking up an Achilles tendon injury three rounds into the season.
But Bennett is convinced the strike centre will thrive again at the Rabbitohs, where Roberts began his NRL career in 2011 before being sacked for an off-field incident.
"It just gels and it just works, the pair of us," Bennett said.
"I've coached long enough to understand the basic principles, that we're all different and you can't make them all into one.
"So you're bit better off dealing with the individuals in the group and make them into a team."
Bennett's personal touch aside, the veteran coach believes Roberts' Redfern teammates will offer the ex-La Perouse junior the perfect culture to not only flourish but also get his life back in order.
"That was part of the reason he came to Brisbane three years ago. He had a lot of offers to go to other places but that's why he came - he realised what he needed and he thought we could provide that for him and nothing will change here," Bennett said.
"We've got a great group of players here and behaviour's a constant thing here, about staying in the boundaries and doing what's right.
"So he'll fit in good here and they'll be all here to help him like they were at Brisbane."
On top of the table with just one defeat in 11 matches, the Rabbitohs since Roberts' signing have firmed ahead of Melbourne into second favouritism for the premiership, behind the Sydney Roosters.
"We think it's big for us. We all know what a quality player he is," Bennett said.
"He offers us unique speed. Defensively, he's improved a lot so he's more than capable there and he's just that x-factor you want in your players.
"You can't have it in all of them, I understand that, but he brings that x-factor and the ability to make something out of nothing.
"So that's a pretty important ingredient."
In Kempsey for a family funeral on Thursday, Roberts will make his season debut for Rabbitohs next week against Newcastle.
"I haven't brought him here to play second grade," Bennett said.
"It only makes us stronger."