The difference between Mike Pettine and Jim Schwartz shouldn't alter how the Buffalo Bills view their 2014 defensive needs.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock addressed that topic today on a conference call to preview the NFL scouting combine, which opens this week in Indianapolis.
"It's one of those situations where, philosophically, they're similar defensive coaches," Mayock said. "They might get it done differently from an X and O perspective, but philosophically they're both attacking, tough defensive coordinators."
The Bills' defense had a eye-opening season after totally overhauling the coaching staff. Pettine oversaw a unit that broke the franchise sacks record and was second in the NFL in interceptions.
There were weaknesses, to be sure, particularly in stopping the run with acceptable consistency. But the improvement was radical compared to the years with George Edwards and Dave Wannstedt running Buffalo's defense.
Mayock postulated Schwartz will need to learn Buffalo's defense more than the players will need to learn Schwartz's system. A problem, though, is that Pettine took many of his top assistants with him.
"I think it's going to be, in this situation, more up to Jimmy to kind of learn what they've done the last couple years," Mayock said, "as opposed to just bringing in a completely different system and getting all players to adjust to it.
"I think you'll see a lot of what they had last year, with a little bit of influence from Jim Schwartz."