The former State of Origin five-eighth backed Sezer to also take the next step in steering the ship on his own, having now played 137 NRL games – about half of those at halfback.
“I reckon he can. Generally the ability to manage a game by yourself is the last piece in the puzzle for halfbacks,” Johns said.
“You look at Cooper Cronk – his first five years he shared it and played half a field. Then the back half of his career he’s just run the whole ship.
“It’ll just be miles on the clock for Aidan. It’s a difficult thing to do, it’s a lot of responsibility, but I think he can do it.
“He’s got the right coach [in Ricky Stuart] to teach him how to do it because Ricky was the best at it.
“That’s the next step for Aidan. For him to come out and say, ‘Righto I’m going to be a marquee playmaker here.’ It’s a crucial one for Canberra this year.”
Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker has seen a change in Sezer over the pre-season.
He’s developed into a team leader and Croker agreed with Johns – he was ready.
“In think he’s just developed as a leader. He gave an interview the other day and he drew the line in the sand for himself and said it’s time for us to make something here,” Croker said.
“He’s been here a couple of years now and we’ve all had our issues consistently and Aidan probably puts himself down more than anyone.
“The way he’s developed as a leader, the way he talks, the way he’s really taken the team by the scruff of the neck and stepped it up a level in terms of his training intensity is probably something I haven’t seen out of Seze before and I’m just excited to see what it brings from him on the footy field.”
NRL ROUND ONE
Sunday: Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans on the Gold Coast, 6.10pm. Live on Fox League.
Raiders squad: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Jarrod Croker (C), 4. Joey Leilua, 5. Bailey Simonsson, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson (C), 10. Sia Soliola, 11. Joe Tapine, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. John Bateman. Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili, 15. Ryan Sutton, 16. Dunamis Lui, 17. Corey Horsburgh. Reserves: 18. Sam Williams, 19. Jack Murchie, 20. Luke Bateman, 21. JJ Collins.
Titans squad: 1. Michael Gordon, 2. Brenko Lee, 3. Tyrone Peachey, 4. Brian Kelly, 5. Phillip Sami, 6. Tyrone Roberts, 7. Ashley Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Shannon Boyd, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Ryan James, 13. Jai Arrow. Interchange: 14. Alexander Brimson, 15. Moeaki Fotuaika, 16. Max King, 17. Bryce Cartwright. Reserves: 18. Mitch Rein, 19. Dale Copley, 20. Anthony Don, 21. Keegan Hipgrave.