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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Little honors brother who's serving in Iraq

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Wednesday, Oct. 04 2006

    When Leonard Little dropped Detroit quarterback Jon Kitna on Sunday for a
    first-quarter sack, the Rams' defensive end turned toward the Lions' bench --
    and saluted.

    Little normally doesn't do much after a sack. Perhaps it was an acknowledgement
    of former teammate Tyoka Jackson -- now a Lion -- because Jackson usually
    salutes after a sack.

    Not exactly. "I knew people were going to think that," Little said.

    The salute was for Little's brother, Army sergeant Lamont Hughes, who is
    stationed in Iraq.

    "He e-mailed me the other day and told me to salute if I got a sack, so he'll
    know I'm thinking about him," Little said.

    Hughes has been in Iraq for the past 11 months. He told Little that the troops
    get to see some NFL games in Iraq. Last week, the Rams-Arizona game was shown,
    and Hughes told his fellow soldiers that Little was his brother. They
    immediately started taking interest in Rams games.

    "He's got everyone over there watching our games," Little said.

    Little got an e-mail from his brother Monday, telling him the Rams' 41-34
    victory over Detroit also was shown to Hughes' unit. When Little got the sack,
    and saluted, the soldiers went wild.

    "I think about my brother all the time," Little said. "He's over there fighting
    for our country. And we're over here living in the free world. I e-mail him all
    the time. I talk to him every now and then."

    Knowing that his brother might be watching against Detroit "gave me a little
    bit more inspiration to come out and try to do it for him," Little said.

    Hughes' tour is up at the end of this month. He'll then return to Fort Leonard
    Wood. Little wants to get Hughes and some of the other returning soldiers in
    his unit to the Rams' home game Nov. 5 against Kansas City.

    In the meantime, Little hopes to be doing more sack salutes, beginning with
    Sunday's game at Green Bay. Little was a force against Detroit, far beyond that
    first-quarter sack -- his third of the season. He was in Kitna's hair most of
    the afternoon, with seven quarterback pressures.

    "He's a great pass rusher," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "He can put
    pressure on almost any tackle in the league. ... He's the one guy up front that
    can put some pressure on the quarterback constantly."

    On one of his quarterback hits Sunday, Little hurdled Detroit running back
    Kevin Jones, who was attempting a cut block, en route to Kitna. That's
    something you don't see every day from a defensive end.

    "I've seen it a couple of times," Haslett said. "But the great ones do that.
    They have great anticipation. ... He anticipated the guy cutting and just
    leaped over him."

    At 6-3, 263 pounds. After that play, which came on Detroit's second possession
    of the game, Haslett couldn't resist some ribbing.

    "I told him, 'Don't tell me your groin is hurt,' " Haslett said.

    A week earlier against Arizona, Little had missed a few plays after tweaking
    his groin.

    On pace for his first double-digit sack season since 2003, Little has been
    aided by the addition of defensive tackle La'Roi Glover. It also helps to have
    a healthy left ankle for the first time in nearly a year.

    Little was bothered the latter half of the 2005 season with bone spurs in the
    ankle, which affected his quickness and "get-off" rushing the passer. He had
    surgery in February.

    "They had to shave them down to get all the debris out of my ankle," Little
    said. "It (still) bothers me a little bit, but not as much as last year."

    Meanwhile, Glover's work inside has made it more difficult for opposing teams
    to concentrate their blocking efforts on Little.

    "He demands a double-team every time," Little said. "So that leaves me on the
    outside one-on-one."

    Sooner or later, Little wins those one-one-one matchups. Already, he rates as
    one of the best Rams pass-rushers in the past quarter-century. Little, 31, has
    64 regular-season sacks. Only Kevin Greene, with 72 sacks from 1985-92, has
    more sacks as a Ram since the 1982 season.

    Now, if only Little can keep his helmet on. Upset over a roughing-the-passer
    penalty against Detroit, Little removed his helmet while protesting. That's an
    automatic 15-yard penalty.

    "I lost my cool a little bit," Little said.

    Because of a rule change on low hits to the quarterback, officials are keeping
    a closer eye on such plays. As a result, Little may get fined by the league.

    But after reviewing game tape Monday, Little still didn't think the hit on
    Kitna was a penalty.

    "I got pushed into the guy," Little said. "I didn't hit him low. My helmet hit
    him right at the waistline. Hopefully, I won't get a fine from the league."

    Ram-blings

    In a move to upgrade special teams, the Rams signed Seattle linebacker Isaiah
    Kacyvenski to a one-year contract on Tuesday. Kacyvenski's release Saturday was
    a surprise because he was Seattle's special-teams captain. The Rams created a
    roster spot for Kacyvenski by releasing safety Dwaine Carpenter, who was
    inactive for all four contests.

    Fullback Paul Smith, who suffered a concussion and head injuries against
    Detroit, was out of the hospital and at Rams Park, but his status for Green Bay
    remains doubtful.


  2. #2
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
    UtterBlitz is offline Registered User
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    Re: Little honors brother who's serving in Iraq

    Nice LL ... I am sure the soliders liked that salute.

    The 30 yard penalty was not called for in my mind. The officials lost control of the game at that point and gave the Lions a big push to help them score.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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