Some players possess the natural ability to thrive in high-pressure situations -- a quality that exists in the makeup of some of the world's best athletes. Others have to work to develop the skills to handle pressure, whether it's through training or experience.
"So many of these games come down to the last two minutes," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said when asked what he wants from a quarterback. "We gotta make sure the guy that we have is a guy that can perform under pressure."
No matter how an athlete gets the ability, that factor can define greatness.
Last Thursday, Nevada offensive lineman Joel Bitonio and the other combine participants on the same schedule woke up at 4 a.m. to take a drug test. His day would be filled with medical exams and his night with interviews and meetings. All 32 teams might be paying attention.
Operating on about four hours of sleep, the adrenaline helped.
"All your buddies that have gone through the process tell you, 'Oh, it's busy; you wake up early. Long days,' but until you're actually through it, you don't understand how it actually feels," Bitonio said. "It's tough, but you wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
It's tough for a reason.