IN the unlikely event that Jamie Buhrer has ever kicked a stone, it's fair to assume he did so in private. And then he quite possibly picked it up and put it back in place.
Buhrer might be one of Newcastle's most experienced players, having appeared in 167 NRL games, a lone State of Origin fixture and Manly's 2011 grand final win, but he has spent most of this season on the outside, looking in.
Having played in 36 games in his first two seasons with Newcastle, his opportunities this year have been few and far between.
Some players of his calibre would be disgruntled, even badgering their agents to explore opportunities with rival clubs, but Buhrer has remained so positive and so professional it is impossible for his teammates not to admire him.
"That's just who I am," he said. "Everyone who knows me knows that's who I am.
"That's how we want we people to be. That's how we want people to deal with those situations.
"As a leader, if I'm going to tell people what to do, and do the opposite, it really goes against what we're trying to build here.
"So it's just as important for me to go back and play my role in reserve grade.
"We've got a lot of good young players coming through as well, but I feel like I owe them and have a responsibility to them to show the best way to deal with any adversity, and obviously play well. That's the only way you get back in the team.
"There's no point sulking, so that's just how I treat it."
After playing three NRL games over the first 12 rounds, Buhrer has been retained on the bench for Saturday's clash with Melbourne at AAMI Park.
There's no point sulking.JAMIE BUHRER
With first-choice hookers Danny Levi and Slade Griffin sidelined through injury, Buhrer is the ideal man to tag-team with Connor Watson at dummy-half.
The 29-year-old is also a wise head who can help steer his young teammates through what, for some of them, is uncharted territory.
The likes of Levi, Sione Mata'utia, Daniel and Jacob Saifiti, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Mitch Barnett and Josh King are yet to even come close to playing in an NRL finals series, so showing them how to get there is a responsibility shared by Newcastle's senior players.
"We've never thought semis here before, since I've been here," Buhrer said.
"We always hoped. You obviously start the year and you think that you want to play semis. But we've never been in a position to really, truly think about that.
"And I can tell you, there's been no talk about that. And no one's talking about how far we might go.
"And I think that's a product of where we've been. Just understanding that, as cliched as it sounds, we've got to look just one game ahead.
"It was six weeks ago that everyone's heads were falling off a little bit, because we weren't getting the wins ... [but] we're keeping our heads on.
"We're not getting too far ahead. We're obviously excited and confident, which is what you want to be, but we're only halfway through the year. There's plenty of football left."
After six successive wins, the Knights have climbed to 11th on the competition ladder and beaten highly rated opponents St George Illawarra, Sydney Roosters and South Sydney in their past three starts.
Yet Buhrer insists the most exciting aspect of their mid-season revival is that they can still get better.
"There's still a lot of room for improvement, which is part and parcel of this part of the year. But we're quite happy with the progress we've made," he said.
A free agent at the end of this season, Buhrer is confident "I've still got some footy left in me", but is leaving his contract situation in the hands of his agent.
"I just want to enjoy everything at the moment," he said.
"I don't want to stress about anything. He'll come to me at some point at the end of the year, and whether there's an option to stay here, we don't know yet at the moment.
"If not, I've just got to make the most of it while I'm here."