Running back Steven Jackson said: "The team put ourselves in a position to be in the playoffs, and to come up short, it hurts. You dream of the possibilities of what could have happened, but to have made the leaps and the bounds that we have this year is still something to be proud of. It's something to build off of for next year."
The Rams finished 7-9 just one season after going a league-worst 1-15 and after winning an NFL-low six games in the last three seasons.
"It's difficult to be so close and miss out on something you want," safety Oshiomogho Atogwe said. "It hurts. In these moments you look back at the season you had and you come to see all the bright spots, the positive moments, all the growth. In that growth you see potential for more. That's what drives us now. We're still hurting now but the hope of being better next year is definitely out there and attainable."
"I'm excited about what's ahead for this franchise," Laurinaitis said.
Spagnuolo echoed that sentiment.
"I do believe we have a lot to build on here," he said. "I firmly believe that. I know the players do. People in this building do. There was a lot of good that came out of this season. It's hard to think about that right now, because we're all still a little scarred from yesterday, but I think as time goes on here we'll all realize that we did some good things. I believe this experience that we went through yesterday will make this football team hungry, because when you get right there and you get a little bit of a taste of it, that only just makes you hunger for that particular feeling going forward."