Player quotes from todays press conference

John Parker Wilson, Sophomore quarterback
On Coach Mike Shula's dismissal
"It was a surprise to us. We weren't expecting this when it came out. We just have to come together as a team right now and really step up as leaders and keep things moving forward."
On when he found out about coach Shula's dismissal
"I talked to Coach (Dave) Rader and he told me before everybody knew. I found out last night after our meeting. I don't think anything had been done before the meeting."
On how it is affecting the team
"It is a tough situation for us. We have to come together as a team. This is a big time for our team right now to come together and be a unit. I think it will bring us closer together. We just have to have guys step up right now and become leaders."
On bowl game
"We are hoping for a bowl. We would love to go for the chance to have more practice and play in a bowl game."
On if he has looked at other coaches
"I have nothing to do with that. Coach (Mal) Moore and everybody will take care of that. We are just worried about the players right now and about the team. Keeping everybody focused and keeping everybody on the right track to get ready for a bowl game."
On coach Shula being his position coach
"I respect coach Shula so much and he did such a great job. I feel like I have improved a lot. I really appreciate not only everything he has done for me but also the program."
Wallace Gilberry, Junior defensive lineman
On Mike Shula's dismissal
"I was shocked. I was friends with coach Shula on and off the field. Life goes on. It is like losing a best friend. Time heels everything. Hopefully with time we will all get on the same page and get ready to win a national championship soon."
On finding out about coach Shula's dismissal
"I had that feeling that something was going to happen, I just didn't know what. I was definitely surprised by the fact that we don't have coach Shula anymore. What done is done and there is nothing I can say now to change that. I can only do what I can do and that is get the team morale back up and focus on moving in the right direction."
On coach Joe Kines
"I am not doubting anything at all. Coach (Joe) Kines is the type of guy who can make anybody follow him. That is not going to be hard. It is just a matter of us telling ourselves that coach Kines has been there before and he knows what he is talking about. He knows what it is going to take to get the team back in the right direction."
Antoine Caldwell, Sophomore center
On rumors about coach Mike Shula's dismissal over the past few weeks
"We heard about it from the newspaper or on the radio. You try to ignore it for three or four days, but you keep hearing about it and your family calls you. You start to pay a little more attention to it. My biggest deal was last night I felt as good as I have felt about it when he had our team meeting. I thought everything was going to be o.k. Coach Shula had a positive attitude and our team left that meeting feeling our staff was going to be in tact. We felt like that is what we needed. Everybody here loves coach Shula and I back him up for everything he does. Right now it is just kind of a shock to everybody."
On when he found out about coach Shula's dismissal
"I found out this morning. I came out here for a workout at 6:30 a.m. and had a reporter ask me about it. I went outside and had a couple of teammates tell me what happened. The reality sunk in that all the rumors had been true."
On if he sensed anything throughout the season
"Call me oblivious but I just thought we lost a game and that was it. I realize now that this is a business, a dirty business unfortunately. In football you have to be lucky and catch breaks. I thought last year we went 10-2 and caught every break in the world and this year we went 6-6 and didn't catch any breaks. It is just one of those things and it is unfortunate that coach Shula had to catch the bad end of it. The thing he probably would want us to do is to stick together and if we get an opportunity to go to a bowl game, just go out there and win the game."
On what Mal Moore spoke to the team about
"He said he felt like we were losing and going on a downward slide. Before you know it you can be out of control. He felt like he didn't want to wait around another year to see if we would be worse than 6-6. I have my own personal feelings about it. I love coach Shula and everybody here does. I also know Mal Moore loves Alabama and I respect what he does. Right now I am not taking sides and I am hurting just like everybody else is."
On change from last year
"Last year the team was as high as it has been in several years. The talk around Alabama, the fans and coaches were into it. It is just a business and that is how football works. You just have to take everything in stride."