Growing up Tavon Austin’s favorite pickup game was something called “throw up tackle.’’
“It’s everybody for themselves” Austin explained. “Whoever gets the ball you run against everybody and if you get tackled throw it up and next person tries.”

Quickness elusiveness determination instincts and instant reaction all were necessary to succeed. Which may explain why Austin loves returning punts so much. It reminds him of ‘‘throw up tackle.”

It’s not like the Rams are sending a news release to the 31 other NFL teams telling them Austin will return punts this season. But it’s no secret either. His skill-set makes him perfectly suited for the job.

“Oh yeah definitely” Austin said Sunday after the Rams’ special teams practice. “There’s a lot of guys out there like me — DeSean Jackson and Percy Harvin. You can pretty much see what they did in the league. So if I just trust and believe in (my skills) and have a good scheme I think things will go well.”

Through the spring and now four days into training camp Austin has been everything that the Rams thought he’d be. And that goes for special teams too.

“Great ball skills (is) dynamite with his feet” special teams coordinator John Fassel said. “And a little guy hard to tackle.”

When it comes specifically to punt returns there’s no way you can coach what Austin has — and almost no way you can coach against it.

“If we had to punt to him — he’s on another team — what’s your concern?” Fassel asked. “And there’s a lot. ... He’s got breakaway speed but he’s also got the ability that little guys have which is incredible quickness and elusiveness.”