Biere Back to the Basics

Tim Biere calls the game a "nightmare" and the lowest moment of his football career.

It happened a year ago in KU's season-opener to North Dakota State on Sept. 4. Tim Biere had two fumbles after catching passes, including an especially costly one in the forth quarter with just 3:10 left, while also dropping at least three passes in KU's 6-3 loss.

He was booed by the Jayhawk fans.

"That game was terrible," Biere recalled. "I played hands down the worst game of my life. It was really a tough situation. I felt like I let the team down."

But Biere learned from his experience, worked even harder, "got back to the basics," and rebounded with an impressive season, leading KU with four touchdown receptions while tied for third on the team with 19 catches for 228 yards. He caught at least one pass except for the Nebraska game and was named KU offensive player of the week versus Texas A&M when he caught four passes for 67 yards.

The 6-4, 250-pound native of Omaha, Neb., is now looking for better production for himself and the Jayhawks heading into his senior year. Biere feels he's boosted the physical and mental aspects of his game.

"I tried to get in better shape this year," said Biere, who was named in the preseason to the John Mackey Tight End Award Watch List for the second straight year. "As far as mentally, getting in the film room and watching a lot of tape and breaking down the playbook, things like that."

Biere's teammates certainly respect his work ethic and what he's accomplished. They voted him one of four team captains this season.

Biere, who earned Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors last season, was overwhelmed with the honor.

"It means a ton," he said. "Coming in here, I looked up to the captains the last three years. Now being in that role, you realize people are looking up to you. It's a huge honor that the team selected me. It shows that people have respect for you, but you also have a lot of work to do."

Biere knows the team has much work to do this season while looking to rebound after last year's 3-9 record. He said the players are feeling more comfortable opening their second season under head coach Turner Gill.

"Now we know the rules, we know what's expected of us, we know what's going to get this team better," Biere said.

"The main goal for everybody is to get in a bowl game," he added. "From that you can win a Big 12 Championship and set the stage for bigger things in the future."

Biere has been building up to his senior swan song his entire career after three solid seasons of catching the football and pass and run blocking at tight tend. In 2008, he was one of eight true freshmen to play while used as the the team's main tight end, starting two games and catching six passes for 65 yards. Biere was also the team's top tight end the last two seasons, catching 14 passes for 184 yards in 2009 before his breakthrough year last season.

Gill has always raved about Biere's consistency. Biere talked about the secret to his success.

"I guess just knowing my role and doing that role and not trying to do too much out there," he said. "If you know your role and what you have to do and you know your plays, then if you can consistently do that, you'll get better and better at that and your role can expand."

Biere is now ready for the season opener against McNeese State at Memorial Stadium on Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT), where he hopes to kick off 2011 with a great start and get redemption for his poor play in KU's season-opening loss last year to North Dakota State.

He knows this is his last season at KU and feels a special sense of urgency.

"I'll never have this opportunity in my life to play college football," Biere said. "I have 12 games left. I want to make the most of them."

Gill believes Biere will indeed do that. The KU coach calls his tight end an "instrumental" part of the team.

"(He's a) very, very solid person," Gill said. "I've always enjoyed his demeanor, always enjoyed who he was on and off the field. I'm glad our players voted him as captain because he represents that. He's another guy who really represents us in a good way.

"I expect him to have a fantastic season. He's going to do a lot things that you probably don't see in the stats — the blocking, the things he does in the huddle, the things he does on the sidelines during practices. He's going to have his opportunities to make plays, too, (and) I know he's going to be a very instrumental person on our football team to make our offense go."

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