Sean McVay dropped a rare reference from the DC Comic Book Universe on Friday, October 28.
But the Los Angeles Rams head coach used it to help verbally articulate the importance of having a key injured defender back into the fold for Sunday, October 30 against the San Francisco 49ers — a defender he’s excited to see in the rotation at SoFi Stadium.
‘Robin’ to Jalen Ramsey’s ‘Batman’
The Rams have been missing some added versatility in the back end of the defense with nickelback Troy Hill missing from action since Week 3.
Hill, however, was mentioned as one of the injured Rams who have been elevated for the upcoming Week 8 contest against the NFC runner-up from last season.
McVay believes the return of the 5-foot-11, 183-pound defender benefits the Rams defense greatly.
“It’s huge,” McVay told reporters on Friday morning at the Rams’ Thousand Oaks facility. “And I think the other thing too is when you have multiple guys that have the ability to play outside and inside — you know you guys just talked to Jalen [Ramsey] — you need complimentary pieces to play off of one another.”
And if Ramsey is the “Batman” of the Rams defense, guess who holds the title of “Robin” by McVay?
“One of the things that makes Jalen so unique is that versatility. But you also need somebody else that can be, kind of, the ‘Robin’ to his ‘Batman’ on the back end. And Troy Hill has been a very productive player as an outside and inside player,” McVay said. “He’s just got a great way about himself.”
Hill Embraces ‘Robin’ Role
Hill has been with the Rams longer than Ramsey — as he spent 48 games as a Ram before the franchise traded for Ramsey before the November 2019 deadline.
He even played for Jeff Fisher before McVay took the head coaching reins. But with the former, he began as a special teamer before blossoming into a valuable extra defender.
The nickelback has since taken on the Robin-role for the secondary.
When healthy, the local star Hill — who became a national recruit at nearby St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura — has been praised for his ability to snatch the football and his coverage ability in taking on inside wideouts.
Hill’s best performance came against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1 despite the lopsided loss, where he surrendered just four catches for 43 yards his side but also delivered this takeaway on early season Most Valuable Player candidate Josh Allen:
But before the 2022 season, he was delivering these type of game-altering moments as a Ram:
Including one against the Rams’ next opponent back in 2020:
His best campaign arrived in 2020: Taking three takeaways into the end zone to lead the league plus delivered 10 defensed passes and intercepted three passes.
Hill got activated on Saturday, October 29 from injured reserve just in time for the upcoming 49ers contest. And he’s likely to draw matchups with Christian McCaffrey, who on his end is anticipated to have an increased work load with Deebo Samuel ruled out with a hamstring injury.
McVay is happy to see “Robin” back in the secondary.
“It’s been great to get back around him. He’s got a knack for making plays and hopefully, that’ll show up this week.” McVay said.