‘Robin to His Batman’: How Rams CB Troy Hill Complements Jalen Ramsey

Troy Hill’s eventful journey has led him to Los Angeles several times, some of it on his own accord and others out of his control. In the process, he’s managed to form a tight-knit relationship with All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey, to the extent where Rams coach Sean McVay compared them to one of the most iconic duos in the history of film.

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill is made for two things: the City of Angels, and teammate Jalen Ramsey.

Born in Ohio, Hill played his high school ball in Ventura, California, some 70 miles from LA. After five hectic years at the University of Oregon, Hill went undrafted, ultimately signing with the Cincinnati Bengals.

He saw action in three games during his rookie campaign but saw his life flip on its head late in the season, as he spent time on three separate teams in the span of a week; the last of which was the Rams, still in St. Louis at the time.

The following year, the Rams relocated to Los Angeles – and Hill naturally rose to the occasion. He played in 12 games with four starts, totaling 40 tackles and defending a pair of passes. However, it wasn’t all smooth. Late in the campaign, Hill was arrested on suspicion of DUI and subsequently waived.

The 5-11, 183-pounder returned went unclaimed and returned to LA a few days later. Shortly thereafter, the Rams fired coach Jeff Fisher. Hill saw action in the final three games – largely on special teams, as his role on defense was minimized was following the arrest.

That offseason, the Rams hired then-30-year-old Sean McVay to become their new coach. The rest is history – both for Hill and the organization.

After serving a two-game suspension for a substance abuse issue, Hill went to work. Over the next three seasons, he played in 42 games with 19 starts, seeing his play steadily increase as the Rams climbed to a Super Bowl appearance.

Hill carried his strong work into a breakout 2020 season in which he started all 16 games and led the NFL in defensive touchdowns with three. He also defended 10 passes and intercepted three more.

However, Los Angeles fell short of the playoffs and Hill departed in free agency, bringing his career-changing time in the city to a close … except, it didn’t.

After signing a four-year, $24 million contract with the Cleveland Browns in 2021, Hill played in 12 games and made four starts, totaling 49 tackles and an impressive seven tackles for loss. But things didn’t really fit, and Hill was traded during the NFL Draft … back to the Rams.

Perhaps nobody was more excited than Ramsey, who played 26 games alongside Hill after arriving in Los Angeles during the 2020 season.

Reunited once more, Hill was set to play a big role as the Rams looked to defend their Super Bowl crown. He started the first two games but suffered a groin injury in Los Angeles’ Week 2 victory over the Atlanta Falcons and was subsequently placed on injured reserve.

With the Rams fresh off their bye week, Hill is officially back in the mix and is poised to see significant action in Sunday’s contest against the San Francisco 49ers. For as crucial as his presence will be for Los Angeles’ defense, Hill benefits Ramsey as much as anyone – so much so that McVay made a fitting Hollywood reference to compare the two.

“It’s huge,” McVay began, on Hill’s return. “The other thing is when you have multiple guys that have the ability to play outside and inside, you need complimentary pieces to be able to play off of one another. One of the things that makes Jalen so unique is that versatility, but you also need somebody else that can be the Robin to his Batman.”

That “somebody else” is the 31-year-old Hill, who’s been through a rollercoaster ride on and off the football field dating back to high school. But he’s managed to emerge through it all, establishing himself as a legitimate playmaker in the secondary and someone McVay couldn’t be more excited to have back.

“Troy Hill has been a very productive player, both as an outside player (and) inside,” said McVay. “He’s just got a great way about himself. It’s been great to get back around him. He’s got a knack for making plays and hopefully that’ll show up this Sunday.”

Hill and Ramsey come from totally different backgrounds. And yet Hill, the Ohio native turned Los Angeles star who went undrafted, and Ramsey, an all-everything recruit who was drafted No. 5 overall, have come together to form a tight bond that extends beyond the gridiron.

They’re sidekicks who thrive off each other, and with the Rams steadily getting healthier, are ready to create some “Holy” moments of their own, starting in Sunday’s rivalry game against San Francisco.

You can follow Daniel Flick on Twitter at @DFlickDraft

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