Friendship on hold Sunday - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Friendship on hold Sunday

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Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 5:19 pm | Updated: 1:44 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

ST. LOUIS — Friendship goes out the window Sunday when the St. Louis Rams’ Leonard Little tries to sack his friend, Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner.

“Hopefully, we can bring him down a couple of times and slow him down,” said Little, who was Warner’s teammate during his run with the Rams

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ST. LOUIS — Friendship goes out the window Sunday when the St. Louis Rams’ Leonard Little tries to sack his friend, Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner.

“Hopefully, we can bring him down a couple of times and slow him down,” said Little, who was Warner’s teammate during his run with the Rams. “I got a whole lot of respect for him. He led us to two Super Bowls and we won one of them. So, I got the utmost respect for him. He’s a good friend of mine.”

Cards gameday: Rams preview

Too on One : Matt Leinart

Friendship, however, stops when the Rams (1-8) host Arizona (6-3) in a NFC West game. St. Louis, 6-35 over the last three seasons, has lost its last nine home games while the Cardinals are undefeated in four road games this season.

Making life tough for Warner is a must, Little said. “My job is to rush the passer, and he knows it’s my job,” Little said. “I don’t try to hurt anybody but it’s my job to try and tackle the quarterback so I try and do that as much as possible.”

The Rams’ defensive front is hampered with ailments. Little has been bothered by a sore knee. James Hall is nursing a sore back while Chris Long (knee) and Clifton Ryan (toe) also are not at full strength.

The Rams lost C.J. Ah You for the season this week to a knee injury . Defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said Little, who turned 35 earlier this month, will see more playing time as a result.

The Rams are coming off a 28-23 loss to the undefeated New Orleans Saints. The players hope that game is a steppingstone toward nailing down an elusive home win.

A key to that will be putting pressure on Warner. In his last two games, Warner has thrown for 601 yards and seven touchdowns. He had no interceptions in wins over Chicago and Seattle. Warner has 18 touchdown passes to rank fourth in the league this year.

“He’s playing very well, has a great supporting cast around — he’s one of the most accurate quarterbacks, I think, in the National Football League,” Flajole said. “He always puts the ball, even under duress, where the receiver has an opportunity to get the football.”

The Cardinals have been running the ball better recently. Rookie Beanie Wells rushed for 75 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns in the second half last week against Seattle. Wells has averaged 67.8 yards in his last four games.

“They have some good backs with (Tim) Hightower and this Beanie Wells kid,” Long said. “If we can’t slow that running game down, we can’t even worry about getting to pressure Kurt.”

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