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Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 8:45 am | Updated: 11:31 am, Wed Jan 2, 2013.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jeff Fisher’s comeback was a rousing success. Coming off the worst five-year stretch in NFL history, the St. Louis Rams shattered their sad-sack image.

Players from the NFL’s youngest roster cleaned out lockers Monday energized about a future of playoff contention after barely missing out on the franchise’s first winning record since 2003 — and feeling that this seven-win season will not be a mirage.

“I was on a team that was 7-9, came back and didn’t do well,” middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said. “That’s not this group. The postseason, that’s on everyone’s mind, and it’s not just a far-fetched hope, it’s an expectation.”

Quarterback Sam Bradford was the NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year after the Rams went 7-9 in 2010, then hobbled through a humbling two-win season that ushered in a rebuilding effort under Fisher and general manager Les Snead.

In retrospect, Bradford believes the wins came too easily his rookie year, and that the Rams (7-8-1) got what they deserved this season while moving past the bad old days from 2007-11 when they totaled a measly 15 wins.

St. Louis was strong in one of the NFL’s toughest divisions, going 4-1-1 in the NFC West. Two of the victories came over division champions and a third came against a wild-card playoff team. In the finale they went to the wire at Seattle, which had blown out its previous three opponents and was unbeaten at home.

“I don’t know if earned is the right word, but it felt like this team just had a little toughness,” Bradford said. “We were able to go out and get some wins that some people thought we wouldn’t be able to do.”

The 54-year-old Fisher led the way, refreshed after taking a year off following a 17-year run in Tennessee.

“I had a blast, and I can’t wait to get started again,” Fisher said. “I really enjoy it. It was a great group.”

There’ll be no burnout this January. Unlike last season, when about two-thirds of the roster was replaced, Fisher and Snead aren’t facing a massive roster overhaul, either.

Fisher wasn’t certain how active the Rams would be in free agency. Last season, they picked up several starters, including cornerback Cortland Finnegan, defensive tackle Kendall Langford and center Scott Wells, all difference makers.

“It’s awful early right now, you know,” Fisher said. “We’re going to do whatever it takes. We’ve got some of our own we want back.”

Running back Steven Jackson, who became just the sixth player in NFL history with eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and also reached 10,000 yards rushing, is at the top of the list. Jackson can opt out of a contract that has one year to go at $7 million and Fisher reiterated that he wanted the 240-pound Jackson back.

Jackson wants to return, too, and believed the parties would meet soon. But he also said the Rams need to do “due diligence in deciding where they want to go with the roster.”

“We’re definitely going to sit down,” said Jackson, wearing a red sweat shirt given to him by rookie running back Terrance Ganaway to commemorate the 10,000-yard milestone. “I would hate to watch this organization go on and be successful, which I believe they will, without me.

“I want to be part of that, yes.”

The Rams head into the offseason with no glaring physical issues. Last year, Bradford’s troublesome high left ankle sprain was a question mark, but the quarterback said he’s had no problems for months.

Bradford had been sacked in 30 consecutive games, the longest streak in the NFL, before the line kept him clean the last two games, and said the ankle felt “good, really good.”

“During the spring I could still feel it, but as time went along it just kind of went away,” Bradford said. “It’s something that was a really positive thing, the fact that it didn’t bother me the whole year.”

The Rams stayed the course with Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, and reaped a bounty of premium draft picks when they dealt the No. 2 overall pick and the rights to Robert Griffin III to Washington in March. The Redskins made the playoffs while the Rams ended up with three rookie starters, including playmaking cornerback Janoris Jenkins, plus have Washington’s first-round picks in 2013 and 2014.

Bradford believes the Rams are clear winners in the deal.

“I think we did, for sure, just with all the picks that we have and what we’re going to be able to build, what we’ve already started to build here,” Bradford said. “I think this team is on the fast track and I really look forward to the future, and to next year.”

Plus, next season should be his first time as a pro in which he doesn’t have to switch offensive systems.

Sticking with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer should help the Rams score more down the road. This season, they were among six teams scoring 300 or fewer points.

The defense was a plus, tying for the NFL lead with 52 sacks behind big seasons from ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn, without a coordinator. Fisher said the future of Gregg Williams, suspended for his role in the NFL bounty scandal, would be “something I’ll address over the next couple weeks.”

Long and Quinn are the Rams’ first duo with double-digit sack totals since 2000.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Area Scoreboard

Area Sports Schedules

Spring Sports District Schedule

Baseball

Class 5 District 3

At Ronsick Field

Friday, May 15

(3) Marquette vs. (6) Washington, 4:30 p.m.

(4) Lafayette vs. (5) Rockwood Summit, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 16

(1) Eureka vs. Lafayette-Rockwood Summit winner, noon

(2) Parkway South vs. Marquette-Washington winner, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 19

Championship, 5 p.m.

Girls Soccer

Class 4 District 4

At Washington

Saturday, May 16

(1) Eureka vs. (4) Washington, noon

(2) Lafayette vs. (3) Marquette, 2 p.m.

Tuesday, May 19

Championship, 6 p.m.

Class 2 District 9

At Springfield Catholic

Saturday, May 16

(1) Springfield Catholic vs. (4) St. James, 1 p.m.

(2) Bolivar vs. (3) Osage, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, May 20

Championship, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, April 15

Pacific 9, Jefferson City 8

Thursday, April 16

Borgia 5, Washington 1

*Union 5, Hermann 0

*St. Clair 9, St. James 6 (8 innings)

*Pacific 14, New Haven 4

Friday, April 17

Crosspoint at Lighthouse Prep    4:30 p.m.

Monday, April 20

O’Fallon Christian 5, Borgia 3

*Union 11, Owensville 0

*Pacific 13, St. James 3

Tuesday, April 21

*Holt 1, Washington 0

Salem 8, St. Clair 0

Wednesday, April 22

*Holt 8, Washington 7

Borgia 23, Trinity 0

Farmington 5, Union 3 (11 innings)

*Pacific 10, Sullivan 9 (8 innings)

Thursday, April 23

Crosspoint 15, CAGSTL 2

*Pacific 4, St. Clair 2

Friday, April 24

Washington 12, St. Charles  1

Patriots at Crosspoint    4:30 p.m.

*Sullivan 1, Union 0

Saturday, April 25

Chaminade 3, Washington 2

Chaminade 3, Washington 1

Fatima 9, Borgia 3

Monday, April 27

*Union 8,  New Haven 5

*Pacific 6, Hermann 3

Tuesday, April 28

*Ft. Zumwalt E 4, Washington 1

*St. Mary's 9, Borgia 3

Belle at New Haven    5 p.m.

Wednesday, April 29

*Washington 8, Ft. Zumwalt E 0

New Haven 9, Bourbon 7

Thursday, April 30

Cuba at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific 4, Union 3

*St. Clair at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at MCSAA Tny    TBA

Friday, May 1

Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

St. Clair at Farmington Wood Bat Tny    TBA

Crosspoint at MCSAA Tny    TBA

Saturday, May 2

Potosi at Borgia    11 a.m.

Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

St. Clair, Pacific at Farmington Wood Bat Tny    TBA

Crosspoint at MCSAA Tny    TBA

Monday, May 4

Washington 2, Winfield 0

Warrenton 4, Union 0

New Haven at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 5

*Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    4:30 p.m.

*St. Dominic at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

Herculaneum at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 6

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt S    4:30 p.m.

*Union at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Pacific at Helias    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 7

*New Haven at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Parkway Central at Pacific    4:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 9

Kirkwood at Washington (DH)    10 a.m.

&Borgia vs. Lutheran S    10 a.m.

&Borgia vs. Holt    3 p.m.

Pacific at Hillsboro Tny    TBA

&Maryville University

Girls Soccer

Wednesday, April 15

Union 1, Rolla 0

Pacific at Troy Tny    TBA

Thursday, April 16

*Ft. Zumwalt S 2, Washington 0

O’Fallon Christian 2, Borgia 0

Union 10, North County 0

Clayton 4, Pacific 1 (Troy Tny)

Friday, April 17

St. Pius 3, Borgia 0

St. Clair 6, De Soto 1 (Hillsboro Tny)

Saturday, April 18

Union 5, Washington 0

St. Clair 3, Cape Central 2 (Hillsboro Tny)

Monday, April 20

Ladue 2, Union 0

*Pacific 11, St. James 1

Tuesday, April 21

*Ft. Zumwalt N 3, Washington 1

Hillsboro 2, St. Clair 1

*Union 7, Sullivan 1

Borgia 2, Trinity 1 OT

Wednesday, April 22

Lindbergh 4, Pacific 0

St. Charles 5, Washington 0

Incarnate Word 3, Union 1

Duchesne 2, Borgia 1

Thursday, April 23

Warrenton at Washington, PPD

Pacific 9, De Soto 0

Borgia 4, St. Clair 0

Friday, April 24

Parkway Central 3, Pacific 1

*Sullivan 1, St. Clair 0

Monday, April 27

%Borgia 1, Parkway North 1, St. Dominic Tny

#Union 1, Oakville 0 OT CYC Tny

Tuesday, April 28

#Lindbergh 4, Washington 0

Pacific 2, Hillsboro 1

#Webster Groves 5, Union 0

St. Clair 5, St. Louis Patriettes 0

Wednesday, April 29

Warrenton 2, St. Clair 1 OT

Ladue 4, Washington 1

Thursday, April 30

Washington, Union at CYC Tny    TBA

%Borgia vs. Cor Jesu, St. Dominic    7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 1

%Borgia vs. Villa Duchesne, St. Dominic    5:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 2

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Monday, May 4

*Ft. Zumwalt E 3, Washington 1

*St. Dominic 2, Borgia 0

St. Clair 5, Owensville 1

Sullivan 8, St. James 0

Tuesday, May 5

Four Rivers Conference Tny, Owensville

Pacific vs. Sullivan, 5 p.m.

Union vs. St. Clair, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 7

*Borgia at Duchesne    6 p.m.

Four Rivers Conference Tny, Owensville

Third-place match, 5 p.m.

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 8

Washington at Sullivan    5 p.m.

Saturday, May 9

Festus at St. Clair    TBA

Boys Golf

Wednesday, April 15

*Union at Sullivan    4 p.m.

Pacific Meet    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 16

Washington at Bulldog Battle    8 a.m.

Warrenton Inv    9 a.m.

Monday, April 20

Borgia at AAA Meet    TBA

Tuesday, April 21

St. James Tny    8 a.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt South    3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 22

Warrenton at Washington    3:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 23

Kennedy at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at St. James    3:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    4 p.m.

Monday, April 27

FRC Meet-1. Sullivan 315 2. Pacific 344 3. Owensville 369

Tuesday, April 28

Borgia at Trinity    3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 29

Washington at GAC Meet    TBA

Monday, May 4

District Golf    TBA

Tuesday, May 5

District Meet at Washington    9 a.m.

Track

Friday, April 17

Pacific at Farmington Inv    2:30 p.m.

New Haven at Cuba Relays    3:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 18

Washington at Kirkwood Inv    9 a.m.

Tuesday, April 21

Nix Relays

Boys — Timberland 132, Rolla 96, Owensville 89, Pacific 58.5, Sullivan 47.5, Warrenton 47, Union 46.5, St. Clair 39.5, Washington 38, St. Dominic 26, Borgia 17.

Girls — Rockwood Summit 85, Timberland 81, Union 66.5, Rolla 62, Sullivan 60, St. Clair 59, Pacific 54, Washington 50.5, Parkway West 40, Owensville 37, Warrenton 17.5, Borgia 13.5.

Friday, April 24

Owensville Relays    4 p.m.

Pacific at De Soto    4 p.m.

Union at Cape Central Relays    TBA

St. Clair at Potosi Inv    TBA

Saturday, April 25

Washington at Brusca/Strohbach Inv    9 a.m.

Union at Cape Central Relays    TBA

Tuesday, April 28

Borgia at Troy Inv    3:30 p.m.

Pacific at Lutheran SC    4 p.m.

Hermann Relays    4 p.m.

Friday, May 1

Warrenton Inv    3:30 p.m.

New Haven at South Callway Relays    4 p.m.

Saturday, May 2

Washington at Victoria Reaves Inv    9 a.m.

Monday, May 4

FRC Meet, Hermann    10 a.m.

Tuesday, May 5

AAA Meet at Borgia    3 p.m.

Thursday, May 7

GAC Meet at Washington    3 p.m.

Friday, May 8

Union, St. Clair, Pacific at Hillsboro Inv    TBA

Saturday, May 9

Classes 1-2 District Meets    TBA

Boys Volleyball

Thursday, April 16

*St. Mary’s at Borgia (Grade School)    5 p.m.-ppd

Friday, April 17

Borgia at Illinois Tournament    TBA

Saturday, April 18

Borgia at Illinois Tournament    TBA

Monday, April 20

*St. Mary's def. Borgia, 25-18, 25-15

Tuesday, April 21

Borgia def. Bayless, 25-14, 25-18

Thursday, April 23

*Borgia def. Duchesne, 17-25, 25-13, 25-18

Tuesday, April 28

*St. Dominic def. Borgia, 25-23, 25-21

Thursday, April 30

*DuBourg at Borgia    5 p.m.

Thursday, May 7

*O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    5 p.m.

College Softball

Thursday, April 16

*St. Louis 4, ECC 3

*ECC 4, St. Louis 3

Friday, April 17

ECC 8, Missouri Valley JV 0

ECC 9, Missouri Valley JV 1

Monday, April 20

*ECC 15, St. Charles 2

*St. Charles 5, ECC 4

Tuesday, April 21

*Jefferson 3, ECC 2

*Jefferson 4, ECC 3

Thursday, April 23

*ECC 5, Mineral Area College 3

*Mineral Area College 4, ECC 2

Tuesday, April 28

ECC 14, Cottey 1

ECC 7, Cottey 1

Region 16 Tournament, Kirkwood

Friday, May 1

G1 (1) Mineral Area def. (4) Cottey

G2 (3) ECC 8, (2) St. Louis 5 (8 innings)

G3 STLCC def. Cottey

G4 ECC 7, Mineral Area 4

Saturday, May 2

G5 STLCC def. Mineral Area

G6 STLCC 4, ECC 3

G7 ECC 4, STLCC 3

Friday, May 8

ECC at Lincoln Land (DH), TBA

Saturday, May 9

ECC at Lincoln Land, if needed, TBA

*Conference Games

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