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Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Tavon Austin's open-field juke, other notes

By Mike Sando

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Rookie receiver Tavon Austin returned a punt toward the right sideline Tuesday and broke into the clear, leaving punter Johnny Hekker as the last line of defense.

Austin, the St. Louis Rams' quick and elusive first-round draft choice, staggered Hekker with a series of moves that unfolded as quickly as the eye could track.

The sequence was comical, and Hekker, left leaning awkwardly toward the sideline as Austin raced past him to the inside, knew he was going to hear it from teammates. There wasn't much Hekker could do at this point, so he dropped to the ground and clutched his hamstring in a lighthearted attempt to invite some sympathy.

It was one of the more memorable moments as the Rams opened their final week of organized team activities before breaking until training camp.

"Come on, that is hilarious," cornerback Cortland Finnegan said later. "[Austin] is the real deal, man."

Hekker, by the way, was considered arguably the most athletic punter in college football while at Oregon State. Not that it was going to matter against the 5-foot-8, 174-pound Austin, a player the Rams expect to create mismatches from the slot and elsewhere.

Other notes from the Rams' session Tuesday at team headquarters: