Packers hire former Buccaneers coach as new defensive coordinator

Green Bay is taking one heck of a gamble with this hire.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

With the loss of offensive coordinator Dave Canales, it seems the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going through a bit of a coaching exodus. The coaches that Canales isn't taking with him to Carolina are leaving -- or threatening to -- and it's causing some unexpected early offseason turbulence.

Thad Lewis is interviewing to be Calanes' replacement in Tampa Bay, but he's also drawing interest from Las Vegas and Tennessee. Keith Armstrong, who has been with the Bucs since 2019, announced he was retiring after almost four decades in the league.

Even former Buccaneers coaches are getting action elsewhere in the league, although the move the Green Bay Packers made is a bit of a head-scratcher -- albeit a potentially hilarious one.

Packers hire former Buccaneers secondary coach as defensive coordinator

On Wednesday the Packers announced that they had hired Jeff Hafley as their next defensive coordinator. Hafley spent a few years with the Bucs in the early 2010s helping as a defensive assistant before eventually moving on the become the head coach at Boston College.

That's right, the Packers replaced Joe Barry with a college head coach who hasn't been in the NFL since he was on Chip Kelly's staff with the 49ers.

Bold move, Cotton.

There's a lot to dig into here, but just skimming the surface is a real doozy, especially seeing as the Packers are a team that might stand in the Bucs way next season. Green Bay had a few different options to go with in replacing Barry, with Brandon Staley and Mike Vrabel being among the best candidates available.

Instead Green Bay decided to grab Hafley, who is taking a step up while also taking a step back -- he's an NFL coach again but he's going from being a head coach to a coordinator.

His credentials are a bit suspect, which shouldn't really strike much fear into teams like the Bucs who might have to keep an eye on Green Bay's rise next season. Hafley's time in Tampa Bay was mixed, as he was a part of a coaching staff that wasn't very good but managed to help the Bucs secondary finish third in the league in interceptions.

Hafley did fairly well at Ohio State at the end of the 2010s, but Boston College was ranked 27th in pass defense and 72nd in total defense nationally last year. He takes over a defense that wasn't very good for most of the season and faces offenses like the Dolphins, Eagles, Rams, and 49ers next year.

At the very least, though, the hiring of Hafley continues a trend of former Bucs coaches finding prominent jobs elsewhere in the league this offseason.

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