Hey, there's some San Francisco 49ers news! FOX Sports NFL reporter Alex Marvez is reporting the 49ers have hired former Cleveland Browns secondary coach Jeff Hafley to fill the same role on Chip Kelly's coaching staff. The 49ers have been connected with Browns defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil, so as some have suggested, it is possible this move is foreshadowing O'Neil's hiring as defensive coordinator.
The Browns defense as a whole was awful in 2015, but looked better in 2014. Against the pass, Football Outsiders ranked them No. 22 in 2015, but ranked No. 2 last season. Injuries were a big problem this year. Obviously injuries are always an issue, so we can't just say, well, things will be alright if the 49ers can stay healthy. But, it is still worth thinking about beyond just, "Why hire a Browns coach? They suck."
Here's what the Browns website had to say about his work in 2014:
In his first season, Hafley oversaw a secondary that helped the Browns lead the NFL in opponent passer rating (74.1), completion percentage (57.1) and passes defensed (99). The Browns finished second in the league with 21 interceptions, the team's highest total since 2008. Cleveland also finished fifth in league in yards per pass attempt (6.44), fifth in red zone defense (46.3) and ninth in points per game (21.1).
Here is Halfey's resume:
2014-2015: Cleveland Browns - Secondary
2013: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Secondary, Safeties
2012: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Assistant Defensive Backs
2011: Rutgers - Secondary
2008-2010: Pittsburgh - Secondary
2006-2007: Pittsburgh - Defensive assistant, cornerbacks
2004-2005: Albany - Defensive Backs, Recruiting Coordinator
2002-2003: Albany - Defensive Tackles
2001: Worcester Polytechnic University - Running Backs