Damon Harrison declared himself the best nose tackle in football in an article that appeared on NFL.com today. That comment has generated some attention, but I found another thing Harrison said more interesting.
Helping Harrison is the fact that the Jets did not undergo a dramatic change in defensive principles this offseason. A shift from Rex Ryan to Todd Bowles is merely a change in terminology. Their fronts look relatively similar. The only pressure on Harrison is to convert the language from one coach to another and, according to Harrison, Bowles' way of relaying his defense is a bit more black and white.
"It's the same schemes," he said. "I don't want to say it's the exact same, but it's the same scheme with different verbiage."
A coaching change means an adjustment period as teams learn a new system. Todd Bowles and Rex Ryan have similarities as defensive coaches. Both are flexible and adaptable. They like to mix things up out of a lot of different fronts. It is impossible to judge right now how much overlap there is. The effect will be difficult to quantify even once the season starts, but a large degree of overlap does seem like a plus.