If you can't actually play football in the NFL, firing up the old video game console and getting in a game of Madden is about as close as it comes. Don't believe me? Ask Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
The rookie quarterback, when he's not trying to make Cleveland feel better, is working on his real-life game by practicing on Madden.
"It helps because you get one more rep than you had in practice, actual practice," Bridgewater said. "Any chance you get to take an extra rep or go the extra step, extra mile, it's going to be very beneficial transferring it to the field."
Now, the key here is Bridgewater going the extra mile during his Madden games and importing (or re-creating) the Vikings playbook on his franchise.
You can chuckle all you want at the idea of a professional football player getting better through a video game. But there's some absolute learning aptitude available by plugging in the different plays from Norv Turner's playbook.
Ultimately it boils down to taking additional mental reps.
"I try to take as many reps as I can, whether it's on a video game, playing EA Madden Football or in the playbook, just drawing it or just visualizing it in my head," Bridgewater said. "I try to just maximize every rep I can get and every opportunity that I can take."
There's a reason Bridgewater looked like the best quarterback available in the draft for most of 2013. Nothing wrong with video games being a part of that.