Rams quick to remind everyone where Seahawks got trick punt return

The Rams ran a decoy on a punt return against the Seahawks last season, with Stedman Bailey going 90 yards for a touchdown. AP Photo/Tom Gannam

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- One of the most common NFL clichés, heard on a weekly basis, is that it's a "copycat" league. More often than not, that phrase is used in reference to a scheme or a game plan against a certain opponent.

On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks took a page out of the St. Louis Rams' special-teams playbook—or at least one play. In a 0-0 game about midway through the first quarter, the Seahawks fooled the Bears with some misdirection on a punt return.

With returner Tyler Lockett deep, the Seahawks drew the Bears to the right, where Lockett and all of his blockers had drifted after the punt. But the ball actually went left, where cornerback Richard Sherman was standing. Bears punter Pat O'Donnell was the only one to know where it was headed. He prevented Sherman from going all the way, and actually helped bring Sherman down after a 64-yard return.

Sound familiar? It certainly did to the Rams, who pulled off the trick against the Seahawks in 2014.

"It’s interesting," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "I wonder where they got it from?" He added, “Who knows, maybe that had it in before we did it last year.”

The Rams' version of the play involved receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, with Austin as the decoy and Bailey the returner. It worked even better than Seattle's attempt, as Bailey went 90 yards for a touchdown.

On Tuesday night, NFL.com took to Twitter to ask fans to name the play.

But the Rams' Twitter account and long snapper Jake McQuaide quickly responded to that request.

Of course, the Rams weren't the first team to run the play. And coincidentally, the Bears had tried it in 2011, with Devin Hester and Johnny Knox, though that attempt failed because of a penalty.

Still, the Rams are the only team to score a touchdown off the play, so they have a legitimate claim to the naming rights. The Rams' version is called "The Mountaineer" in tribute to Bailey and Austin's alma mater.

Perhaps more interesting than Twitter comments or jokes is that the play actually worked twice in less than a calendar year. The question is, who will be next to copy the play now that it's worked again?