Alabama Players Discuss Monroe

On Saturday, Alabama Coach Nick Saban and his staff will honor 22 senior players who will be playing their final home football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium when Louisiana-Monroe comes calling for a 1:30 kickoff.



"It's very weird," said senior Alabama defensive end Wallace Gilberry. "This moment coming up, I'm not going to say I dread it, but I definitely didn't want to see it coming so soon, especially with the things that we have going around here right now. It's been very satisfying. I've broken both of the tackle for loss records since I've been here, so I think this career and this season so far have been going pretty good for me."

Gilberry is enjoying his finest season at The Capstone. "For the most part, the coaches just let us play," he said. "They let the playmakers make plays and that's basically what our scheme is a bout. If you obey the scheme, and you trust it, and you understand it the plays will be there for you, and it's just up to you to make them. The scheme we have now allows us to do a lot more things to attack a lot of different styles so to speak. It's worked out for me pretty well. I just go out there and if a team decides to double-team me, then so be it; I'll take one for the team, but I don't look at it like I'm this great defensive end in this great scheme. I'm just a player that fits the piece of the puzzle pretty good, that's all."

Linebacker Darren Mustin knows the 4-6 War Hawks won't come into Bryant-Denny playing the role of sacrificial lambs. "They're hungry for a win," he said. "I don't care where you are this time of the season it's all about wins. About this time it's the last little bit for the seniors and the last little bit for everybody. They have seniors just like we have seniors and they want to win. We have to get our minds focused and do what we have to do to win."

Like his head coach, Mustin is looking for his team to play better. "We've been playing with each other for months now. We know what we have to do. We know who's made mistakes. I made a mistake, we just have to get everything fitted up and I believe that when we get everything going the way it's supposed to be we are going to be a pretty tough team to beat." Mustin chose not to take questions about Saturday's loss in Starkville.

Freshman halfback Terry Grant did discuss the 17-12 loss, specifically what he saw in Monday morning's film session with position coach Burton Burns. "On the field, we did a lot of things right. A couple of things just lost the game for us. On film, you could see it, but there is nothing we can do about it now. Everyone played really hard, but a few of the mistakes that we had just messed it all up. Seeing how we played hard and fought to come back, it hurts because every time you watch the film you see that you could have done something, just one thing that could have won the game."

Left tackle Andre Smith says the team just has to regroup. "This next game, we just want to focus on doing what we're supposed to do every single play, going through all of our reads as far as blocking assignments. We trust John Parker (Wilson). He's a human, he makes mistakes, but it's up to us as a team to continue to go out there and work hard to do what Coach (Nick) Saban, Coach (Joe) Pendry, and Coach (Major) Applewhite wants us to do.

"We're fine. We have the 24-hour rule; you know 24 hours to get over a win or a loss. Unfortunately we lost, but we just have to go out and focus on ULM right now. They have a really good defense; their offense puts up a lot of points, so we are just really looking forward to going out and competing against those guys."

Smith has confidence in what has become a patchwork offensive line due to injuries and suspensions. "It hasn't really affected us, he said. "Mike (Johnson) is a great athlete. He's able to play guard and tackle. Chris Capps stepped in and did a great job against (MSU defensive end) Titus Brown and Evan (Cardwell), what can you say about him? He's smart, he knows the offense from front to back, and he's a student of the game. He's just a great center, what a center is to an offensive line."

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