So who is Roscoe?
"He's a ball python," Berrian said. "He's about four feet long right now, but he can get up to about eight feet long when he's full grown. He's growing all the time and is still at the point that he gets bigger every week."
Berrian's affinity for pets has been around since he was a kid, but he admits some people are a bit taken aback when they enter his house and see a four-foot python staring at them through his glass cage. But for Berrian, there is nothing all that strange about having an exotic pet, even if was something of a surprise when he got Roscoe.
"I've always liked animals and he is an unusual pet for sure," Berrian said. "My girlfriend got him as a Christmas present for me last year at a pet store in Chicago."
Berrian didn't bring Roscoe with him to training camp – who would room with him if he had? But he said he spends a lot of free time playing with him because that is how snakes and their owners build a bond. With the strength to squeeze just about anything into submission, Berrian said he has to spend a lot of bonding time with Roscoe so he remains familiar with him and knows that he is his owner.
"You have to spend a lot of time with him," Berrian said. "You can't just sit him in the cage and only spend time with him when it's time to feed him. You have to take him out a lot and play with him so he's familiar with you. Once they get familiar with you, there isn't much of a danger of having problems. But it's a process."
As if it isn't strange enough to go to a pet store to buy a python, it pales by comparison as to when he makes return visits to the pet store to buy food. There's no such thing as Purina Snake Chow. He has to get a natural food source, which means making weekly trips to the pet store to stock up on food for Roscoe.
"Right now he's eating rats," Berrian said. "They're live rats. You can buy them at pet stores too. It's what they eat and there's no fun in feeding him dead rats."
When asked if any of his new teammates are deathly afraid of snakes, Berrian said that is ongoing process. At some point, they're going to meet Roscoe and, when that happens, their fear of lack of it will become readily apparent.
"We'll find out pretty soon if they are (scared of snakes)," Berrian said with a laugh. "Some of the biggest, toughest guys around aren't so big or so tough when they come face to with a snake. I'm sure there will be some guys that get scared around him, but that's part of the fun."
ROBISON RETURNS ... TO WATCH
Approximately 15 minutes into the afternoon practice, defensive end Brian Robison showed up on the training camp fields for the first time since having surgery. He expects to be ready by the season opener, saying, "It will probably be a couple of weeks. Right now, we're going to get on the bike and the elliptical and see how things go. Hopefully, I can start jogging next week."
Robison said there were some concerns about the injury, saying, "They had to go in and take the whole thing out. I had a vein that the valves weren't working. I had two blood clots in there and they had to go in and take it out, so it's gone. It's all gone. Varicose veins usually don't bother you a bit. But the fact that I had (two) blood clots that flared up really quick, that's why we had to go in so soon and get it done. The clot wasn't letting the blood go through my leg and the swelling was from that. That's why it had to be done so quick."
Robison added that the varicose vein was an isolated type of injury and was assured by the surgeon that there shouldn't be any more problems with it.
The rest of the team practiced for a little over an hour, with about half of that time devoted to special teams blocking coverages.
MONDAY AFTERNOON NOTES