Cougar Comments: K.C. Bills

After a four-week layoff, Cougar Comments is back with its fifth installment. K.C. Bills went on record about the Blue-White Game and his overall experience this spring. Bills' progress in his recovery from a shoulder injury should be of particular interest to Cougar fans.

Following a spring 2004 position change and a shoulder injury in ensuing fall camp, K.C. Bills could not be happier about seeing the field in a live action scrimmage.

"It was good," said Bills of the 2005 Blue-White Game. "It was fun to get to play. We practice so much and practices are hard and the point of all that is to actually play, so when we get to come out and just play football it is just the best. It was fun – the past two scrimmages have just been fun."

The scrimmage experience was further enhanced by the more than 10,000 fans that showed up at LaVell Edwards Stadium to get their first peek at what new head coach Bronco Mendenhall was doing with the program.

"What a great crowd," said Bills. "I haven't seen this many people out to a spring game ever. It was good even with the weather. They were a good crowd and were here and toughed it out, so we appreciate everyone that comes."

Anticipation was so high for the new offensive scheme that Robet Anae brought over from Texas Tech, Bill wondered if the fans even noticed what he and his defensive teammates were doing. "You know, I wonder sometimes if the crowd likes the defense at all," he said.

Bills was pleased with what he saw from the offense throughout spring, especially when considered in light of the fact that this was the offense's first experience with a new system.

"They look good," said Bills. "The main thing is the whole attitude is different. They are excited and you saw a few fights out here and that's not the best thing, but that shows that they are competitive and fiery too. We need that. It hasn't been here in the past. They look good. Everyone needs to remember that this is a new offense. They might be a little rusty but they'll get it down. It is exciting and hard to cover."

One of two major issues that Bills had to address this off-season was the recovery of his injured shoulder. The initial prognosis appeared positive.

"It has healed well," Bills said. "It was kind of shaky and I think a big thing is for me to feel secure with my shoulder. That was the goal of spring ball for us, just to bang around a little bit and make sure it feels good so I can feel confident coming into fall. I feel really good and it feels strong and with an extra four or five months I'll be ready to go."

In addition to the workouts Bills does with his teammates, he has special exercises to help rehabilitate his shoulder.

"I do a lot of light weight rotator cuff stuff and then I do all the lifts we do," said Bills. "It is just a gradual process and I just got to strengthen it and get it better."

Although his shoulder was feeling much better, Bills did not go full contact in every practice this spring.

"What I did was one day on one day off," he said. "So, it's been limited. I haven't done everything I would like to do and I just need to play the position quite a bit. It was good, one day on one day off isn't the best, but I got some experience."

The other major issue that Bills faced this spring was a move to safety from the linebacker position he played at during the 2003 season. The move was a difficult one and the jury is still out on how much Bills will be able to contribute in his new role.

"It is the hardest thing because in our defense the cats - you are either playing linebacker or corners, and I'm a big corner, I weigh 220 and I just need to learn how to do it," Bills explained. "You need experience. I watch film and I learn the technique and I can do that all I want, but I have to get out there and do it."

Bills and the rest of the safeties are learning the position from Coach Barry Lamb who also moved to the position this season.

"He's good; Coach Lamb knows his stuff" said Bills. "I worked with as a linebacker a few years ago. I can't get away from him. He is a good coach and will get us going."

Finally, Bills was asked who on the offense he least looked forward to tackling. His answer was the same as middle linebacker Cameron Jensen's and should come as no surprise to Cougar fans.

"There are two guys - Moa [Peaua] and Fahu [Tahi]," said Bills. "Moa busted up my nose lead blocking, so I'd rather not see Moa coming on a lead block, but Fahu once he gets going – that's 250 whatever pounds coming at you. We don't go to his legs, if he were from another team I'd go to his legs. He's a big boy coming at you."

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