Matthew Stafford says an ability to overcome adversity that he learned during his time with the Detroit Lions has helped him quarterback the Los Angeles Rams to Super Bowl LVI.
Stafford, who is 1/1 to be named MVP of Sunday's big game, has delivered in clutch situations as the Rams have overcome both the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this year's play-off run.
A dream first season in the City of Angels could end with Stafford holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy - something that never looked likely during his 12 previous years in Detroit.
Stafford went 74-90-1 as the Lions' starter and made three play-off appearances without a victory. Detroit never won a divisional title during the former first overall pick's time in Motor City and the team posted winning records in just four of those 12 seasons.
The 34-year-old told the media on Monday that he has drawn on his experiences with the Lions to finally get to game he's dreamed about all his life.
"I don't know that there was a single time or an instance, but I think just the ability to overcome adversity," he said, via Detroit Free Press.
"I know that sounds cliche, but there were plenty of times in Detroit where we were having a tough stretch of games or I was having a tough quarter or a tough half, whatever it was."
"Being able to just trust yourself, trust your preparation and go to work and continue to work and trust your team-mates and all that kind of stuff, I still feel that way and think that way today."
"These opportunities are what you play the game for," he added.
"As far as pressure goes, we say it around here all the time, pressure's a privilege. That means something's expected of you and we expect that of ourselves anyway."