From the Field: Monday Afternoon

Bernard Berrian has a cold-blooded friend that he's looking to re-acquaint himself with after training camp breaks, as well as the news and notes from Monday afternoon's practice - including the training camp return of DE Brian Robison.

As Bernard Berrian gets to know his new teammates better, it will be inevitable that, at some point, he will invite a bunch of his teammates over for a cookout. When they arrive, they likely will meet Roscoe. He's been a member of Berrian's family since last Christmas and is Berrian's pride and joy. He isn't a son. He isn't a pet dog. He's just one of Berrian's new best friends.

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

  • Berrian was used sparingly in both practices Monday, but he told VU it wasn't due to any nagging injury, just a chance to give him a little time off and allow some of the younger receivers fighting for roster spots to get more reps with the offense.

  • The team was again without safeties Madieu Williams, who has been suffering neck spasms, and Tyrell Johnson, who has an abdominal injury. Johnson said he hopes to be back Tuesday for practice. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier didn't lay out a timetable for Williams' return.

  • Fullback Naufahu Tahi returned to the afternoon practice and took part in most of the drills.

  • Tight end Garrett Mills was in uniform and had his helmet for the practice but didn't take part in any live practice. Mills has practiced just once since July 28, when he and Williams got their legs tangled in a red zone drill. There is growing speculation that Mills' injury is a high ankle sprain because it had been two weeks since he has seen any meaningful playing time and low-ankle sprains typically heal well within that time frame.

  • Darius Reynaud caught a deep pass from Tarvaris Jackson in which he had to jump for it and came down on Darren Sharper's left foot. Sharper appeared to be mildly injured and took himself out of the drills.

  • Newcomer Brock Pasteur got his first taste of playing for the Vikings during passing drills and got his first notice for the wrong reasons – the new offensive tackle came out of his stance early for a false start call.

  • During special teams drills, players tried to strip the ball from the return men in short-range area. The only success was linebacker J. Leman, who was able to rip the ball away from Daniel Davis.

  • Martin Nance made one of the plays of the camp to date. On a fade pass to the corner of the end zone in a red zone drill, Nance reached over the head of cornerback Marcus Walker, tipped the ball to himself and got both feet down in the end zone – to the roaring approval of the fans in attendance.

  • Brooks Bollinger had one of the ugliest deep passes of training camp, but everyone seemed to have a good sense of humor about it. Several defensive players appropriately make "Quack! Quack!" noises as the duck fluttered to the ground and even Bollinger pretended to shoot the ball out of the air like trap-shooting a clay pigeon.

  • The Vikings will have practice tomorrow from 9-11 a.m. and 3:15-4:15 p.m.



  • Viking Update Top Stories

    ","mobileBody":" As Bernard Berrian gets to know his new teammates better, it will be inevitable that, at some point, he will invite a bunch of his teammates over for a cookout. When they arrive, they likely will meet Roscoe. He's been a member of Berrian's family since last Christmas and is Berrian's pride and joy. He isn't a son. He isn't a pet dog. He's just one of Berrian's new best friends.

    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.\"



    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.



  • Berrian was used sparingly in both practices Monday, but he told VU it wasn't due to any nagging injury, just a chance to give him a little time off and allow some of the younger receivers fighting for roster spots to get more reps with the offense.

  • The team was again without safeties Madieu Williams, who has been suffering neck spasms, and Tyrell Johnson, who has an abdominal injury. Johnson said he hopes to be back Tuesday for practice. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier didn't lay out a timetable for Williams' return.

  • Fullback Naufahu Tahi returned to the afternoon practice and took part in most of the drills.

  • Tight end Garrett Mills was in uniform and had his helmet for the practice but didn't take part in any live practice. Mills has practiced just once since July 28, when he and Williams got their legs tangled in a red zone drill. There is growing speculation that Mills' injury is a high ankle sprain because it had been two weeks since he has seen any meaningful playing time and low-ankle sprains typically heal well within that time frame.

  • Darius Reynaud caught a deep pass from Tarvaris Jackson in which he had to jump for it and came down on Darren Sharper's left foot. Sharper appeared to be mildly injured and took himself out of the drills.

  • Newcomer Brock Pasteur got his first taste of playing for the Vikings during passing drills and got his first notice for the wrong reasons – the new offensive tackle came out of his stance early for a false start call.

  • During special teams drills, players tried to strip the ball from the return men in short-range area. The only success was linebacker J. Leman, who was able to rip the ball away from Daniel Davis.

  • Martin Nance made one of the plays of the camp to date. On a fade pass to the corner of the end zone in a red zone drill, Nance reached over the head of cornerback Marcus Walker, tipped the ball to himself and got both feet down in the end zone – to the roaring approval of the fans in attendance.

  • Brooks Bollinger had one of the ugliest deep passes of training camp, but everyone seemed to have a good sense of humor about it. Several defensive players appropriately make \"Quack! Quack!\" noises as the duck fluttered to the ground and even Bollinger pretended to shoot the ball out of the air like trap-shooting a clay pigeon.

  • The Vikings will have practice tomorrow from 9-11 a.m. and 3:15-4:15 p.m.


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