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The Snake-Charmer of the NFC South

Josh Freeman discusses his slithery pet collection, and the heightened expectations around him and the 2013 Bucs

GREG BEDARD: So, I hear you have a lot of ... are they pythons? By the way, ick.

JOSH FREEMAN: Yeah, I have a few ... nine pythons and a couple boas. I had one that was about 9 feet long but I got rid of it because of the state laws. The biggest one now is a boa and he’s probably 5 1/2-6 feet. When I was younger I was hanging out at a buddy’s house and he just had a bull python laying next to him. It’s been like a passion, they’re very interesting to me. It’s something I spent my youth learning a lot about, spent time going and catching snakes. It’s pretty cool.

BEDARD: What do you keep them in? Have they gotten out?

FREEMAN: In big tanks. I have a big walk-in closet downstairs and the shelves are filled up, that’s where I keep them all. Once, I wasn’t home but when I did get home they told me the 9-foot-long one had gotten out. The problem was I had just gotten a brand new puppy the day before ... that was a legitimate threat to the puppy. We found the python wrapped around the framework of the chairs in my theater room. It was a process getting it out.

BEDARD:I guess we should talk football while we’re here. With the Bucs, everyone talks about how you have Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin, and now Darrelle Revis completing a young defense, and they say if Josh Freeman plays well, the sky’s the limit for the Bucs. Do you agree with that and do you feel additional pressure?

FREEMAN: It’s a quarterback-drive league, so obviously if the quarterback plays well, the team will do well. But I wouldn’t say there’s any pressure. The pressure from a day-to-day standpoint and to be the best that I can be, that pressure outweighs anything externally. I know who I am and the team knows who I am. Now we just have to continue to press, continue to lead and bring others up with me. I’m definitely happy with the guys that you mentioned. Having talented guys around you is a big help. No, I wouldn’t say that I feel any added pressure. The pressure’s always been at a pretty high level.

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