Ever heard of HPHT; or, High Pressure, High Temperature?
It's the process used to make diamonds. It involves combining really, really high temperatures and a ton of pressure in order to replicate the natural process of diamond metamorphose, which is of the same ilk as HPHT.
Recent science has made the high temperature aspect of the deal rather obsolete, however, as scientists have discovered a way to make diamonds at room temperature.
Pressure has always been a key aspect in creating diamonds, but now, it's even more crucial to the process.
And there's a lot of pressure involved. Like, around 640-African-elephants-balanced-on-the point-of-a-ballet-shoe a lot.
This is why the saying, "pressure makes diamonds" exists. Pressurized situations either bring out the best or worst in people. You never know how someone is going to act or carry themselves when urgent circumstances are at hand.
When it comes to football, those who respond positively are rewarded greatly. Especially in the playoffs. And as one can imagine, the pressure increases significantly once the postseason begins. Therefore, the rewards are even greater.
Tom Brady knows how great the rewards can be. So does the majority of the Bucs' roster.
But not everyone on the roster knows how great it can be. And some of those guys are -or will be in the postseason- pretty big contributors.
Brady's gotta know who he can count on when it matters most. And that's why he's constantly making sure his guys are at their best when the stakes are at their highest.
Because he is going to have to rely on them to win. Just like they are with him.
"I think it's important to put a lot of pressure on guys because you don't know how they're going to react, and if they're not in there playing you don't get to see it very often," Brady told reporters Thursday. "When they get their chance, you don't want it to be the first time they're put in a pressurized situation. So, I am tough on those guys. Sometimes I do something where I kind of force the issue and create some arbitrary pressure, just to kind of see how they react. It's not like Mike [Evans] needs that or Chris [Godwin] needs that, but young guys who haven't played, they need that, and you want to see how they respond to the adversity.
"I think naturally just the urgency goes up because there's more energy around what we're doing, there's more energy on the field and everyone wants to come back and play in these games. There [are] more people that want to come to the games, there [are] more fans. There's just a lot more excitement. There [are] fewer teams playing, there's more coverage and everyone's paying attention.
"You've got to feel it. You've got to feel the urgency and you've got to go out there and you've got to get the job done."
It sounds like the guys are getting the message, too. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who played just 12 snaps throughout the 2021 postseason, but will be the Bucs' No. 2 back when they take on the Eagles, knows what Brady's expectations are.
And Vaughn, like his quarterback, is welcoming the "challenge" of both the postseason's and Brady's demands.
"You can look at it as pressure just being out on the field and understanding what the expectations are for this team," said Vaughn. "I think that alone is enough pressure itself. Then understanding that you are playing with Tom Brady and you have to protect your quarterback. He has to be able to trust you out on the field just like you have to be able to trust all the other 10 players on the field with you. I feel like there is pressure every day. It’s just about how you look at it. I look at everything as a challenge, so we’ve got to complete the challenge.”
Pressure: it makes diamonds. The exact diamonds that are on the Bucs' Super Bowl LV ring.
And the same diamonds that will be on their next ring, possibly.
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