THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – He was a pivotal playmaker on the NFL's No. 1 total defense in 2020 before taking a detour to Cleveland.
Now, cornerback Troy Hill looks do the same in 2022 after the Rams brought him back in a trade with the Browns this spring.
"It feels good (to be back)," Hill said after Sunday's practice. "Especially lining up with some of the greatest players to play the game and things like that, the camaraderie that goes along with it, feel good to be back in it. They play to the style I play and they let me be me, so I'm excited about that."
Alongside those players like All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald and All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey, Hill personally helped generate five of their 22 takeaways with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries; he returned two of those interceptions and one of those fumbles for touchdowns.
Ramsey was especially excited about the news of Hill's return when it was announced.
Third-year safety Jordan Fuller, like Ramsey, also saw the impact Hill made first-hand as a rookie that year.
Having Hill back has made a "huge impact" on the defense so far, according to Fuller, and it was evident with his playmaking in camp.
"The first thing that comes to mind, I mean, he was scoring for us. He was scoring touchdowns for us," said Fuller, when asked .what he remembered most about Hill's impact during that 2020 season. "Obviously those plays change games. I'm happy that he's back."
Fuller also appreciates having another veteran voice to lean on when he has questions, a presence that impacts the secondary as a whole.
"It's a real calming figure," Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said during training camp. "Another calming figure in that room."
That poise and ability to disrupt opposing offenses will be crucial for Los Angeles in Thursday night's season-opener against a Buffalo Bills offense that, led by quarterback Josh Allen, returns many of the players that helped it fifth in the NFL in total offense and third in scoring offense.
It will certainly be part of Hill's focus. And while Thursday night will officially kick off his second stint with the team, he's ultimately grateful to be able to play another season in the NFL.
"It's a blessing, you know what I'm saying? Thank God, coming up on Year 8, so that's probably first and foremost, because you don't want to take those for granted," Hill said. "The rest of it, I mean, being able to go out there and show that I can still play at a high level."