The Green Bay Packers enjoyed many great battles with Richard Sherman over the years.
Aaron Rodgers rarely threw his way in matchups against the Seattle Seahawks. Sherman could shut down half the field, regardless of which wide receiver he matched up against.
During his NFL career, Sherman spent time with the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, playing under several coaches with different backgrounds. One of them was Jeff Hafley, the Packers' new defensive coordinator.
They spent a season together in San Francisco in 2018. Hafley was the 49ers' defensive backs coach, working closely with Sherman.
Richard Sherman believes Jeff Hafley is 'great fit' for Packers
Sherman only played under Hafley for one season, but he came away impressed. If you're unsure about Hafley as the Packers' defensive coordinator, allow a player he coached to give you some confidence.
"I think Haff is a great coach that focuses on the details. Always has a great plan and adjustments," Sherman told The Athletic. "His team will see the looks they will see on Sundays throughout the week because of the time he puts in studying and understanding offenses. He's going to be a great fit."
And it's not the first time Sherman has praised his former defensive backs coach.
In 2019, Sherman said Hafley was "right up there" among the "great defensive minds" he had worked with.
That will be music to the ears of Packers fans. How often under Joe Barry did we see defensive backs trying to communicate the play-call seconds before the ball was snapped? It was a common theme during Barry's run as defensive coordinator.
Sherman's comments about how Hafley communicates the game plan to the players are exciting. Matt LaFleur called Hafley a "super smart guy," and Sherman's comments back that up.
LaFleur needs a coach who can take command of the defense. Hafley has head coach and play-calling experience, so he is comfortable as a leader. He has worked alongside some familiar names to LaFleur, including Mike Pettine and Robert Salah, and Hafley was part of Kyle Shanahan's staff in San Francisco.
The expectation is that Hafley will bring a more aggressive defensive scheme to Green Bay. He loved to play a middle-closed defense at Boston College, featuring a single-high safety. It's not a guarantee he will take on the same approach in the NFL, but his overall system will likely be more aggressive than Barry's.
Sherman praising Hafley's preparation shows he brings more to Green Bay than just a different scheme. He can help Green Bay's defense reach its potential in the coming seasons.