throwback week



Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Age
    44
    Posts
    8,230
    Rep Power
    61

    Little Working to Return

    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    After finding himself in a precarious position that could have ended his tenure with the only NFL team he’s ever known, defensive end Leonard Little arrived in St. Louis this week for the team’s offseason conditioning program with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

    When you’re one of the team’s highest paid defenders and a veritable one man pass rush, a single sack in seven games and a season ending toe injury isn’t exactly the type of return anyone is looking for.

    While Little understands that, he also recognizes that he isn’t that far removed from being one of the best edge rushers in the NFL.

    “People don’t remember that the year before that when I had like 13.5 (sacks),” Little said. “I know I can still do it, and obviously the team knows I can still do it. It’s just a matter of me going out and doing it. Last year, I missed a lot of opportunities for sacks and stuff like that. I don’t like to dwell on last year because it’s passed, but I missed a lot of opportunities. This year, I just have to capitalize on opportunities and hopefully come out a little better.”

    The opportunity to improve on a disappointing 2007 in which he was regularly getting close to quarterbacks but not finishing the job almost came in a different NFL city.

    On Feb. 27, just before the start of the free agency period, the Rams and Little worked to re-structure the multi-million dollar contract he signed near the end of the 2006 season. Little was due a $7.17 million roster bonus and would have had the largest cap number on the team heading into 2008.

    That number would have severely affected the team’s ability to make any kind of a splash in free agency. That left both sides with two options: re-structure or part ways.

    Little prepared himself for either scenario.

    “It’s a business before anything else,” Little said. “I kind of figured if they were going to do it, they were going to do it. If not, then I was going to move on and hopefully go somewhere else. I wasn’t really concerned about it. If it happened, it happened. If it didn’t, it didn’t. I was prepared either way. That’s the way I took it.”

    For a player who has been with the Rams for the entirety of his 10-year career, the thought of not being in St. Louis wasn’t the most appealing option.

    “It was pretty simple,” Little said. “I thought about it like I was here 10 years of my career, and it would be good to end my career here, but if I had to go to another team, I would be willing to do that.”

    Ultimately, Little and the Rams struck a deal that would keep him in St. Louis and save the team upwards of $3.5 million in salary cap space, money the team would spend in the hours after the re-structure.

    With that important piece of business out of the way, Little was able to turn his complete attention to getting back to being the team’s best pass rusher.

    Little sprained his left big toe on Oct. 14 against Baltimore. He attempted to play the next week against Seattle, but didn’t finish the game and had trouble getting his usual explosive first step because of an inability to push off at the line of scrimmage.

    The next week against Cleveland, Little did not play and he took the opportunity to visit leading foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte on the team’s bye week the following week.

    After debating the merits of trying to play through the pain, Little and the Rams agreed that he should explore surgery. Little had the surgery in November and has been working toward a return the past few months.

    “They’re really trying to take a slow approach with me,” Little said. “They’re really trying to make it come along a little slower. There’s no use in rushing, because we’re still in the offseason. We’re taking it day by day.”

    While the Rams and Little are going slow with his rehabilitation, it’s almost certain he will be full speed in time for training camp barring any major setbacks.

    Already, Little is feeling better than at any point last season and he has designs on returning to form and helping the Rams defense become a more dominant pass rushing unit.

    “It feels better now than it did before I hurt it,” Little said. “If you would have seen it, my toe was messed up before I hurt it. After the surgery and a couple weeks when the swelling went down, it feels a lot better than it did before I did it. I’m not really concerned with hurting it again because it’s going to be a better deal anyway.”


  2. #2
    rams4life88's Avatar
    rams4life88 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    134
    Rep Power
    7

    Re: Little Working to Return

    Hopefully he's feeling a lot more healthier then last season, we need all the help we can get on our D-line.

  3. #3
    Keenum's Avatar
    Keenum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Age
    26
    Posts
    2,865
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Little Working to Return

    I want him and Chris Long lined up at the DE spot, then Carriker and Ryan in the middle.
    3 out of those 4 are good, young players with tons of potential.

  4. #4
    Bar-bq's Avatar
    Bar-bq is offline Pro Bowl Ram
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,952
    Rep Power
    94

    Re: Little Working to Return

    Quote Originally Posted by tangchaochen View Post
    SPAM
    Wow. Someone, somewhere out there, is gearing up to push that big ol' Red Button.

  5. #5
    Wolf Guest

    Re: Little Working to Return

    Good to hear that Little is making a comeback. James Hall in the rotation and a good draft could make our defensive line a strong unit for us. =]

  6. #6
    RealRam's Avatar
    RealRam is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    8,576
    Rep Power
    68

    Re: Little Working to Return

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    Good to hear that Little is making a comeback. James Hall in the rotation and a good draft could make our defensive line a strong unit for us. =]
    Absolutely. And with Ryan and Carriker taking care of the inside, as Keenum said, plus your 'good draft' being either C. Long or V. Gholston ... why, we just might revisit some older, much older front four days.


    Indeed, long overdue. :bash:
    Last edited by RealRam; -03-30-2008 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Gholston spelling

  7. #7
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Little Working to Return

    Quote Originally Posted by Keenum View Post
    I want him and Chris Long lined up at the DE spot, then Carriker and Ryan in the middle.
    3 out of those 4 are good, young players with tons of potential.
    That sounds great to my ears man.

    I would love that, keeping Little was a good thing, he can teach either Chris Long or Vernon Gholston a thing or two about pass rushing in the NFL.

    I really hope Little is going to make more of an impact last year, atleast the man isn't making excuses on why he only had 1 sack in 7 games.

Similar Threads

  1. D. Hall washed up??
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: -05-31-2007, 08:21 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: -06-12-2006, 12:37 AM
  3. Butler Working to Get Back
    By RamsFan16 in forum Under 18s
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: -06-10-2006, 06:42 AM
  4. Rams show interest in return game
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: -04-27-2006, 09:58 PM
  5. Special teams not so special
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: -09-16-2005, 08:39 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •