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

Football

Friday, Aug. 22

Washington 26, St. Clair 21

Borgia 48, Owensville 12

Parkway West 49, Union 39

Pacific 28, De Soto 20

Park Hills Central 34, Sullivan 27

St. James 12, Cuba 6

Hermann 61, Montgomery Co 12

Warrenton 26, St. Dominic 23

Trinity 28, Wright City 24

Friday, Aug. 29

Sullivan 30, Washington 8

Borgia 56, Union 13

Ozark 41, St. Clair 0

Potosi 34, Pacific 13

Hermann 54, Cuba 12

Blair Oaks 42, Owensville 0

St. James 36, Houston 18

Warrenton 28, Troy 0

Orchard Farm 36, Wright City 18

Volleyball

Tuesday, Aug. 26

Potosi def. Union, 18-25, 25-18, 25-15

Francis Howell C def. Washington, 25-19, 25-22

Farmington def. Pacific, 25-23, 22-25, 25-8

New Haven at Cuba    5:30 p.m.

Owensville at Bourbon    5:30 p.m.

St. James at Salem    5:30 p.m.

Borgia def. Cardinal Ritter, 25-3, 25-3

Wednesday, Aug. 27

ECC def. Central Methodist JV, 25-12, 25-14, 25-15

Thursday, Aug. 28

Potosi at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Borgia def. Notre Dame, 25-15, 25-8

*Washington def. Ft. Zumwalt South

Union def. Battle, 25-17, 25-11

Pacific def. Seckman, 25-17, 20-25, 30-28

Hermann at Jefferson City    5:30 p.m.

Belle at New Haven    5:30 p.m.

Linn at Owensville    6 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 29

Mississippi Valley at Crosspoint    5 p.m.

Softball

Saturday, Aug. 23

Union Tournament

Union Sports Complex

G1 Washington 21, St. Clair 0

G2 Pacific 15, Liberty 3

G3 Farmington 15, Union 0

G4 Park Hills Central 4, Borgia 2

G5 Liberty 6, St. Clair 5

G6 Union 9, Borgia 2

G7 Washington 5, Pacific 4

G8 Farmington 5, Park Hills Central 2

Consolation — Union vs. Liberty Postponed due to heat

Seventh Place — Borgia 16, St. Clair 0

Championship — Farmington 5, Washington 0

Third Place — Park Hills Central 7, Pacific 6

Monday, Aug. 25

*Borgia 5, Notre Dame 4 (8 innings)

Union 14, Rolla 7

New Haven at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

St. James at Salem    4:30 p.m.

Belle at Owensville    5 p.m.

Sullivan at Westminster Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Aug. 26

*Ft. Zumwalt S 5, Washington 2

Warrenton 4, Union 3

Duchesne 10, Pacific 5

Steelville at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

Vienna at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Wright City 6, St. Clair 2

New Bloomfield at New Haven    5 p.m.

Hermann at Montgomery Co    5 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Borgia at Pacific, PPD to Sept. 5

Thursday, Aug. 28

St. Clair 3, Borgia 2

*Ft. Zumwalt N at Washingto, PPD

Bourbon at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

Owensville at Linn    4:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 29

Pacific at Lutheran South    4:15 p.m.

New Haven at Wellsville    4:30 p.m.

Belle at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Washington at Battle Tny    TBA

Saturday, Aug. 30

Washington at Battle Tny    TBA

Boys Soccer

Tuesday, Aug. 26

*Union 1, St. James 0

Fredericktown 4, St. Clair 1

Pacific 2, Hillsboro 0

Sullivan at SLUH    5 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Borgia at Union, PPD

Thursday, Aug. 28

Union at De Soto    5 p.m.

Pacific at North County    5 p.m.

*St. James at Sullivan    5 p.m.

*St. Mary’s 4, Borgia 0

Friday, Aug. 29

Mississippi Valley at Crosspoint    4:30 p.m.

ECC at McKendree JV    7 p.m.

#Washington at Francis Howell North, 4:15 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 30

Washington at Pky W/Northwest Tny    TBA

Cross Country

Friday, Aug. 22

Sullivan at Fleet Feet Inv    4 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 28

Borgia at Parkway Central Inv    TBA

Friday, Aug. 29

St. Clair at First Capitol Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 30

Washington at Lafayette Inv    9 a.m.

Girls Golf

Monday, Aug. 25

Borgia 215, Washington 241

Thursday, Aug. 28

Borgia 280, Lutheran St. Charles 284, Washington 292

Boys Swimming

Friday, Aug. 29

Borgia, Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E Inv    3:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

@Fort Scott Tournament

#Parkway West/Northwest Tournament

Racing News