Rams Finish Season With 7-9 Record, Look Toward Next Year - The Missourian: Sports

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Rams Finish Season With 7-9 Record, Look Toward Next Year

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Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 6:30 am | Updated: 8:31 am, Wed Jan 8, 2014.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — If the Rams had any games left on the schedule, rookie Tavon Austin said he would have definitely been back from a high-ankle sprain that sidelined him three games.

And that would have at least made for some more excitement for St. Louis.

“I hope in the future we have a lot of big plays coming up for me,” Austin said while cleaning out his locker.

The Rams (7-9) were eliminated from postseason contention, but many felt their time to contend was coming. Defensive end Chris Long says the youngest team in the NFL needs to grow up and prove it on game day.

“Hey, listen, every year the community, the media, everybody is always trying to make predictions for how close we are,” Long said. “We feel like we’re right there, but obviously we’ve said that before, so I’m not going to get caught up in preaching.”

The Rams were more competitive in the second season under coach Jeff Fisher and Les Snead, and soldiered through some tough injuries, including the loss of quarterback Sam Bradford. The bottom line: stuck on seven wins.

Given the franchise’s recent sorry history, 7-9 isn’t a terrible pill to swallow. Prior to the new regime, the Rams totaled 15 wins in five seasons.

Fisher said this team is “significantly better than the team we took in last year.”

“We’re closing the gap,” Fisher said. “We’re not there yet.”

The gap actually appears to have increased in the NFC West. They were 1-5 against Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona and had double-figure penalty totals on the road against all those teams, perhaps reflecting frustration.

Last season, the Rams were 4-1-1 in the division.

“I think defensively, we can compete with these teams,” Fisher said.

Certainly getting manhandled by the Seahawks in the 27-9 finale could leave a sour taste for a while. The Rams were held to 158 yards and lost their cool with 12 penalties for 87 yards, plus nine other calls that were offset or not accepted.

St. Louis was the second-most penalized team in the NFL.

“We’ll address that, we’ll correct that, we’ll get it fixed,” Fisher said. “Games we had too many penalties were not successful.”

Fisher anticipated no coaching changes, and less roster churn than a year earlier. Backup quarterback Kellen Clemens, who started the final nine games, wants to be back but noted “it’s a little different than my senior prom” and “I have to have a date for this one.”

The Rams may not get much younger next year given they have two first-round draft picks, including the second overall selection as the final payment in the Robert Griffin III deal with Washington. Areas of concern are offensive tackle and secondary, although Fisher shed no light on that.

They may need help at both tackles, especially at the start of 2014. Jake Long might need more time to recover from an ACL injury delayed for another month or so to allow an MCL tear to heal first, and Rodger Saffold, who was shuttled around before ending the year at left tackle, could leave in free agency.

“It’s not ideal but it’s all part of the game,” Long said. “You’ve got to deal with it and I’ll come back stronger for it.”

The Rams may need a cornerback depending on whether Cortland Finnegan can return from an eye injury, and they’re not heavily invested in safety.

The pass rush led by Robert Quinn, who set a franchise record with 19 sacks and was voted MVP by teammates, at times minimized those deficiencies.

“It’s a great honor for them to do that, it means a lot,” Quinn said. “We’ve got to be a little more consistent.”

Finnegan remains a question mark, visiting with doctors for a progress report on a cracked orbital bone after the team meeting.

“I’ll be back,” Finnegan said, “and let you know.”

The Rams guessed right letting running back Steven Jackson leave in free agency and turning that job over to kids. Zac Stacy fell 27 yards shy of giving the franchise a ninth consecutive 1,000-yard rusher when the Seahawks held him to 15 yards on 15 carries, but was a find in the fifth round.

“I was given an opportunity and I pretty much took advantage of it,” Stacy said. “One thing I’ve taken from guys like Chris Long and James Laurinaitis, one they told me, just be a true pro about yourself.”

Fellow rookie Benny Cunningham, who was undrafted, had a 100-yard game and averaged 5.6 yards in limited work.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Area Scoreboard

Area Sports Schedule

American Legion Baseball

Senior Legion

Tuesday, July 1

*Daniel Boone 14, Pacific 3

*Washington 20, Sullivan 5

Wednesday, July 2

*Daniel Boone 8, Pacific 2

*Washington 11, St. Peters 1

Thursday, July 3

*Washington 11, St. Charles 0

Friday, July 4

*Pacific at St. Peters    1:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 5

*Washington 20, Pacific 1

Sunday, July 6

*Washington 11, Warrenton 2

Monday, July 7

Washington 9, Creve Coeur 7

Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament

Wednesday, July 9

Washington 7, Gravette Lions 0

Thursday, July 10

Washington vs. Post 339 West (Bellevue, Neb.), Blue Springs South High School, 2 p.m.

Friday, July 11

Washington vs. Geiger Redi-Mix (Leavenworth, Kan.), Hidden Valley No. 1, 11:30 a.m.

Washington vs. Hawthorne Outlaws (Lee's Summit), Jim Moran Field (Hidden Valley), 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

Washington vs. TBA, TBA

Sunday, July 13

Semifinal Games, 11 a.m.

Championship, 2 p.m.

Junior Legion

Tuesday, July 1

*Union 5, New Haven 0

*Union 7, New Haven 4

*St. Charles 12, Pacific 5

Thursday, July 3

*Union 13, Hannibal 2

*Union 10, Hannibal 3

*Elsberry at Pacific    7 p.m.

Saturday, July 5

*Daniel Boone at Pacific (DH)    10 a.m.

Union 6, Crocker 5

Union 13, Crocker 7

Freshman Legion

Tuesday, July 1

*Washington 16, Pacific 1

Wednesday, July 2

*Washington 11, St. Peters 0

Ninth District Tournament Schedules

Junior Legion

Tuesday, July 8

At Union High School

G1 (1) Elsberry 3, (8) New Haven 0

At Ronsick Field

G4 (3) Washington 7, (6) Wentzville 1

G4 (2) Union 8, (7) Hannibal 1

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G2 (5) St. Peters 8, (4) St. Charles 6

Wednesday, July 9

At New Haven

G5 Wentzville 4, New Haven 0

G6 St. Charles 8, Hannibal 7 (9 innings)

At Ronsick Field

G7 St. Peters 5, Elsberry 2

G8 Washington 2, Union 1

Remainder at Ronsick Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 Union vs. Wentzville, 6 p.m.

G10 Elsberry vs. St. Charles, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, July 11

G11 St. Peters vs. Washington, 6 p.m.

G12 G9 winner vs. G10 winner, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

G13 G11 loser vs. G12 winner, 2 p.m.

G14 Championship — G11 winner vs. G13 winner, 5 p.m.

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — G14 winner vs. G14 loser, 2 p.m.

Ninth District Tournament Schedules

Freshman Legion

Tuesday, July 8

At Elsberry Legion Field

G1 (1) St. Charles 7, (8) St. Peters 0

G2 (4) Elsberry-Winfield 4, (5) Wentzville 3

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G3 (3) Hannibal 3, (6) Warrenton 2

G4 (2) Washington 10, (7) West 1

Wednesday, July 9

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G5 St. Peters 17, Warrenton 6

G6 Wentzville 5, West 4

At Elsberry Legion Field

G7 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 2

G8 Washington 3, Hannibal 0

Remainder at Elsberry Legion Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 Hannibal vs. St. Peters, 6 p.m.

G10 Elsberry-Winfield vs. Wentzville, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, July 11

G12 G9 winner vs. G10 winner, 6 p.m.

G11 St. Charles vs. Washington, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

G13 G11 loser vs. G12 winner, 1 p.m.

G14 Championship — G11 winner vs. G13 winner, 4 p.m.

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — G14 winner vs. G14 loser, 1 p.m.

Swim Team Schedules

Washington Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Oaks Landing    Washington 192-100

6-16    Westglen    Washington 259-206

6-23    at Fox Creek    Washington 311-225

6-30    at Chadwick    Chadwick 264-258

7-7    Cherry Hills    Washington 291-140

Pacific Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    Lake of the Woods    LOtW 176-130

6-16    at Union    Union 289-220

6-23    Bridle Creek    Pacific 371-124

6-30    at Arbor Oaks    Pacific 282-241

7-7    at Indian Hills    Cancelled, weather

7-12    Division Meet    8 a.m.

Union Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Arbor Oaks    Union 180-120

6-16    Pacific    Union 289-220

6-23    at Lake of the Woods    LoTW 312-201

6-30    Indian Hills    Union 322-275

7-7    Bridle Creek    6 p.m.

7-12    at Division Meet, Pacific    8 a.m.

Pacific Diving Team

Date    Opponent    Time

6-14    at MAC West    MAC West 40-30

6-21    at Lindgate    Lindgate

6-28    at Cool Dell    9 a.m.

7-13    at Championships    8 a.m.

Great Midwest Football League

July 5

Missouri Cyclones 22, Midwest Chargers 14

Ninth District Standings

July 1, 2014

District Games Only

Senior Legion

Team    Wins    Losses

West    11    2

Daniel Boone 262    9    3

Washington 218    11    5

St. Charles 312    9    5

Elsberry 226    8    5

Wentzville 323    5    5

St. Peters 313    7    7

Pacific 320    3    10

Warrenton 122    0    10

Sullivan 18    1    12

2014 Final Standings

Junior Legion

Team    Wins    Losses

Elsberry 226    20    2

Union 297    19    3

Washington 218    18    4

St. Charles 312    14    8

St. Peters 313    12    10

Wentzville 323    12    10

Hannibal 55    10    12

New Haven 366    9    13

Daniel Boone 262    5    14

Warrenton 122    3    16

Pacific 320    3    15

Sullivan 18    0    20

Freshman Legion

Team    Wins    Losses

St. Charles 312    20    0

Washington 218    17    3

Hannibal 55    16    4

Elsberry-Winfield 226    14    6

Wentzville 323    9    11

Warrenton 122    8    12

West    7    13

St. Peters 313    6    14

New Haven 366    5    15

Pacific 320    4    16

Elsberry 226    4    16

*Indicates League Games

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