Patrick Tuipulotu, a giant of a man in rugby boots but as pleasant a bloke as any you'll meet when he's not trying to re-arrange opponents, talks like he plays: directly and with occasional brutality.
His three sentences delivered in his capacity as Blues skipper at the end of a routine media stand-up this week cut straight to the heart of the matter with regards to what is going on at a franchise which appears to be readying itself for more disappointment this season.
And while the big All Black lock's answer leads to other, bigger, questions, it at least suggests his fellow players and the team's coaches are attempting to grasp a large and prickly metaphorical nettle.
The Blues were flying high this season after winning four games in a row. They were well in the playoffs mix, but now, alas for them and everyone connected with the franchise, they are slipping down the table and into well-worn and negative habits as highlighted by their failure to fire an attacking shot in the second half of their 26-21 defeat to the Brumbies in Canberra.
They've now lost their last three in a row and face three New Zealand teams over the next three weeks, starting with the Hurricanes at Eden Park tomorrow.
What's going on? The message behind Tuipulotu's words is that fear is holding them back; a fear of failure, of making mistakes, a fear too of expectations, and as long as that remains this once successful franchise won't win another title. They were last successful in 2003. It was their third title in eight years.
"In our review, we compared ourselves to how we felt our pre-season went to how we're feeling now," Tuipulotu said in reference to their summer preparations which included big wins over the Chiefs and Hurricanes.
"I think the feeling in our camp is that we're feeling that pressure and in pre-season we don't feel that; we went out and played and enjoyed what we did. It's about bringing that same mindset back to the crunch stages of the season."
A few points made in James Kerr's Legacy , a book first published in 2013 which promises to offer readers "15 lessons in leadership" gained from the All Blacks, strike as appropriate at this point.
Picking the greats: The ultimate All Blacks World Cup XV
Patrick McKendry: Tone deaf and out of touch - Super Rugby's latest problem
Gregor Paul: Northern teams bringing knife to Rugby World Cup gun fight
I'm not normally one for reading what is basically a self-help book, but they're as popular among modern-day rugby coaches as highly-paid consultants are to media companies so it seemed as good a place as any to look for insights.
And, to a large extent, it delivered (although the edition I own contains a few howlers in terms of wrong dates and scorelines, in particular, but people in glasshouses and so on).
One of the main lessons in terms of team dynamics was "Purpose", which includes all sorts of things such as identity and character, and what, when you boil it all down, comes to this: What makes a team play for something greater than themselves?
Or to put it another way, what do the Blues stand for?
I'm not sure I know. I think I know what the Highlanders stand for – it's them against the rest of the world from a small corner of New Zealand's South Island. I think the Crusaders have successfully striven to make their own community proud ever since Wayne Smith turned things around there in 1997.
The Hurricanes' devil-may-care on-field attitude comes from traditionally having some of the most exciting backs in the competition (and a pack that consistently performs above expectations), and Dave Rennie's "Chiefs mana" drive turned around that franchise in 2012.
Who are the Blues apart from a collection of some talented individuals? This is a question that must be uppermost in coach Leon MacDonald's mind after he reviews his first season in charge because if he gets it right his own legacy deserves to be spectacular.