Hawthorn will have to overcome their biggest hurdle of the season to deny Fremantle their first premiership on Saturday, according to Hawks great David Parkin.
Parkin, who captained and coached Hawthorn to a premiership and coached Carlton to three flags, said the Dockers defence was the best of all time.
"I just think it's a manic pressure that we've never seen applied with and without the ball in the history of the game," he said.
"I'm not saying Hawthorn can't win. Don't worry about that, they're in with a really good chance because of the credentials that they bring.
"But it will probably be the most difficult task they've faced, at least for this season."
Parkin said Ross Lyon deserved to be classified as a great coach regardless of whether Fremantle won on Saturday.
Lyon, who will coach in his fourth grand final in Saturday's decider at the MCG, is yet to win a premiership.
His St Kilda team lost to Geelong in 2009, then drew with Collingwood in 2010 before being blown away in the replay the following Saturday.
An Australian Football Hall of Fame coach and president of the AFL Coaches' Association, Parkin said Lyon was a standout.
"I think that's indisputable," Parkin said.
"This is not under-rating Alastair Clarkson's effort because he's been able to change and go with the game like few others have, but Ross has again now taught another group to play the same method within two years and absolutely commit to it.
"Like Collingwood found it very hard to get over them at St Kilda, I think Hawthorn will find it hard to get over them this week.
"I think they are exceptionally well coached. I've never seen another coach be able to get a team so completely committed to the method of play."
Parkin tipped Hawthorn to win but he was so impressed by Fremantle that he outlined the severe challenge facing the Hawks to their president Andrew Newbold yesterday.
But Newbold said they were ready for whatever Fremantle could throw at them.
The Dockers were clearly the best defensive team during the home-and-away season, conceding an average of just 69 points a game.
But Hawthorn scored more than any team and they have two Coleman medallists - Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead.
The Hawks' scores of 119 points and 118 points against Fremantle in 2012 and 2013 were also the biggest scores the Dockers conceded in those seasons.
"We know they are a fantastic defensive pressure side," Newbold said.
"We're looking forward to challenging ourselves and asking a few questions of Freo as well. I think we've got probably the best forward line in the competition, so let them worry about a few of our blokes as well."
Punters are jumping off the Hawks as the big day nears.
Fremantle have come in from $2.35 to $2.12 at TAB, while the Hawks have drifted from $1.58 to $1.73.
Dockers dynamo Nat Fyfe is equal favourite to win the Norm Smith Medal at $7, the same price as inspirational Hawks skipper Luke Hodge, the 2008 winner.
Ryan Crowley's likely opponent, Sam Mitchell, is at $8.AFL football operations manager Mark Evans yesterday contacted both clubs to warn them that players faced double penalties for any grand final indiscretions.