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John Harbaugh talks Mike Pettine's departure, Jim Schwartz's arrival with Bills


Cleaning out the notebook from Super Bowl week and came across some interesting comments from Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who I ran into at the NFL awards show at Radio City Music Hall.

I asked Harbaugh about his thoughts on the Bills' offseason moves, namely Jim Schwartz replacing Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator.

"The Bills have got great players," Harbaugh said. "Mike did a great job there. It's going to be a different system. Jim Schwartz's system is completely different than Mike's, so it's going to be 4-3, with the ends getting up field, more two-deep coverage. Mike is more of an odd-front pressure defense, so it's going to be interest to see how Jim transitions that."

Harbaugh and the Ravens came to Buffalo in Week Four of the 2013 season, with the Bills coming away with a 23-30 win. The Buffalo defense intercepted Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco five times in the game, and hit him 12 times.

Harbaugh took over as the Ravens' coach in 2008, and had Pettine on staff for one year as his outside linebackers coach.

"I know Mike really well. I thought it was a great hire," Harbaugh said of Pettine getting the Cleveland Browns' head-coaching job -- after a search that lasted two weeks. "I don't know if they were thinking outside the box, or if there was no box, but they ended up with a heck of a coach."

Jets coach Rex Ryan was also at Radio City, and spoke briefly about Pettine landing with the Browns.

"I'm extremely happy for Mike," Ryan said. "It's great. I'm happy for the guys that he was able to bring with him, too."

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Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.