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Is Stephen Paea brilliantly practicing under the lights to simulate Sunday Night Football?

If the point in practicing is to make yourself better for when it counts, why not simulate the environment as much as possible? Stephen Paea might be doing exactly that.

NFL: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

“Practice makes perfect.” -somebody some time long ago

We all practice different things in life. Actors have rehearsals, lawyers have mock trials, and Joey Chestnut surely doesn’t not give all those hot dogs a go before things really begin.

Just like in any avenue of life, the Dallas Cowboys practice. Shocker, I know. They practice so they can get better, but they also practice so that they can do what they plan on doing come game time (I’ve said practice so much already I feel like Allen Iverson).

Stephen Paea, acquired this offseason by the Dallas Cowboys to shore up the defensive tackle group, might be taking things a bit further (depending on how you read into a post of his). In a recent video on his personal Snapchat, Paea showed a practice session of his own:

The video is simply a bit of a “look at all this” sort of shot where you can see Paea’s helmet, what looks like Gatorade, and an open field at night; however, the caption on the video reads “Sunday Night Football (football emoji) training”.

Now this video was posted on Sunday night so perhaps Paea was just literally describing what was happening, or maybe he was describing what he was trying to do.

This season the Dallas Cowboys will play five games in Sunday Night Football conditions, meaning night games with the lights on: New York, at Arizona, Philadelphia, Washington, and at Oakland. Is Stephen Paea trying to simulate those exact conditions and practice in them?

The stadium in which Paea is practicing is obviously not AT&T Stadium where 60% of these contests will occur, but the theory is interesting to consider. In the spirit of practicing and trying to do absolutely everything to prepare for what you’re going to see, doesn’t it make sense that Paea (and anyone really) would want to be prepared for this?

Playing in primetime is a lot of fun, but it’s fair to understand that the environment is different from a lighting perspective. Seemingly the light available to Paea while lined up on defense isn’t as bright in some instances and might be brighter in others, if he’s truly looking to be prepared for all events then this is brilliant.

If you want to do something right when it matters, why not put in all of your preparation with as many of the same variables as you can? I’ve often wondered why players don’t practice in their actual jerseys, and other gameday common denominators. For example, the New York Giants practice with the offense wearing white jerseys. Their home jerseys are blue, the Giants defenders wear blue in practice, so why is Eli Manning psychologically training his brain to avoid blue when he looks for it on Sundays?

When teams prepare to go to Seattle they simulate the crowd noise, when teams are going to be playing in frigid wet conditions they use a cold/wet ball, why not take those measures for all potential environments? Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown seems to buy into this type of logic.

Stephen Paea might be doing that here, and if he is then he deserves a standing ovation.

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