NFL Player Blames His Struggles on Video Game Marathons

10 months ago, the Redskins cut David Amerson; he's now stopped playing video games as much and landed a $38 million contract extension.


After getting picked 51st overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, cornerback David Amerson disappointed in his first two seasons with the Washington Redskins. The team eventually let him go two weeks into the 2015 season and some might have doubted his future in the league.

But the Oakland Raiders picked him up that year and his numbers improved. He started 12 games, made four interceptions, and defended 25 passes, according to GameSpot sister site CBS Sports. By comparison, Anderson only had two interceptions and 18 passes defended during his two-plus years with the Redskins.

So what's Anderson's secret to improvement? Not playing video games as much, he said this week during a conference call attended by CSN California.

"Instead of going home and playing video games all night and stuff like that, it was a much different approach," Amerson explained. "I was going home and I was in my playbook or watching the film or looking at my notes on whatever team we were playing that week. It was really just the little stuff. That's what football is; it's a game of inches. It just gave me that extra beat that I needed on Sunday to make plays."

Amerson, who came into the league at age 21 and is now 24, said he's learned a lot since his first NFL season. This includes getting in the "right mindset" and becoming more mature and professional.

"I came in the league and I was 21 years old. Not saying I'm much older now, but three years, I'm 24 now, I've learned a lot in three years. When I got here, I was in the right mindset," he said. "I was in the right mindset and the right maturity level and professionalism. I was taking that transition of becoming a professional. I think it worked out for the best."

Anderson is being nicely rewarded for his improvement. He recently signed a contract extension worth $38 million, including $18 million in guaranteed money.

This isn't the first story about video games and their impact on an NFL player. In 2014, Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said he imported the team's playbook into a Madden game to help learn the system.

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