PATRICK Cripps' stunning start to the season has Carlton up and about and boom recruit Adam Cerra is more than happy to play offsider to his in-form captain.
A fit and firing Cripps is back to his best this season, averaging 29.3 disposals, 15 contested possessions, 8.6 score involvements and 7.9 clearances per game to lead the Blues to 6-2 and fourth on the ladder.
Former Fremantle midfielder Cerra said Cripps lifted his teammates to another level, too.
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"It's definitely nicer playing alongside him when he's in this sort of form," Cerra said.
"One thing I've noticed, first day coming in, is just how hard he works on his craft, additionally, how much he tries to help out his teammates.
"If he's doing extras, he's always trying to bring along (someone), whether it's myself or 'Walshy' (Sam Walsh) or Jack Carroll, he's invested in his teammates as much as himself.
"It's great to see him get the rewards on game day and it's probably a big reason why when the midfield's going well we're all going well is because we're all looking out for each other and it starts from the top with him."
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Cerra played alongside Nat Fyfe when the Fremantle skipper won the 2019 Brownlow Medal and relished seeing Cripps hit similar form.
"They're both great players and if you asked me last year, I'd say Fyfey's better," he said.
"But at the moment, I'm obviously a little bit biased, but he’s having a great season, just like Fyfey has in the past.
"But I don’t start comparing too many players too often, I reckon they're their own player in their own right.
Cerra and George Hewett have added class and grunt respectively to Carlton's midfield, while Matt Kennedy is in career-best form.
"We're far from the finished product still," Cerra said.
"The more we play together the more connection we're going to build.
"At the moment it's one of our strengths and hopefully we're just going to keep building on that."
Cerra has been crucial to that improvement, averaging 26.4 disposals, 4.9 clearances and five tackles per game.
"I've been trying to get consistency in my game for a while now and I think I’m on that journey with the team as well," he said.
Cerra said Hewett was tracking well after missing two games with a corked calf, while he was confident Carlton could replace Jack Martin (calf), who will miss a couple of weeks.