David Amerson's success secret? No more video games


David Amerson finished last season as one of the NFL's most-improved cornerbacks. Deep-sixing the Xbox helped.

After signing a four-year, $38 million extension last week, the Raiders cover man explained how he went from getting cut by Washington last September to becoming a plug-and-play starter for Oakland.

"It wasn't really rocket science, to be honest with you. Once I got here, I matured," Amerson said Tuesday, per Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. "Instead of going home and playing video games all night and stuff like that, it was a much different approach. 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."

Amerson acknowledged that he "matured" after the Raiders signed him, saying: "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. 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."

It certainly did for the Raiders, who used the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Amerson as a starter from Week 4 on and plan to do so again across from free-agent pickup Sean Smith. The Redskins, though, wish Amerson's awakening came sooner after seeing so little from the player they used a second-round pick on in 2013.

That's the risk in dumping developing talent, though. You never know when the light will go on -- a maddening guessing game for general managers, with this round going to Oakland's Reggie McKenzie.