James Harrison admitted that if someone had asked him Tuesday how he was adjusting to a new defense, he would have said not well. But with another night to study and two hours on the practice fields, Harrison was in better spirits after the Bengals wrapped up Wednesday’s session.

“I think the first week we put in a few things. And then yesterday (Tuesday) I think we threw in maybe three times as much as we did the whole first week,” Harrison said. “I had a chance to go back last night and go over the defenses and had a whole better time of executing.”

As organized team activities have reached the midway point, the consensus on Harrison is what you would expect – quick study, very good in the linebacker room and a great teammate. Cornerback Adam Jones said that in terms of leadership and personality, Harrison has already become like a big brother on the Bengals.

“Guys look up to him and talk to him. I know he looks like the meanest guy that you’ve ever seen, but he is a pretty cool dude,” Jones said.

When it comes to how Harrison will be utilized, that remains a work in progress, which is what OTAs are for.

Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer compared it to when he had Greg Ellis in Dallas and the Cowboys switched to a 3-4 in 2006. Ellis moved from defensive end to linebacker and they found out the strengths and weaknesses, which is what they are doing right now with Harrison.

Said Zimmer: “We’re giving him everything that we’ll normally do and if there are some things that we can help him by making some checks or different calls off of it, then we’ll fix that part of it without changing the entire concepts of the defense that we do. We’re always trying to put our players into the best position the best we can.”

The biggest adjustment right now, as it is with every player, has been the terminology. Harrison said there have been a couple of times where he has reverted to something that was done in Pittsburgh but means something else with the Bengals. There’s also getting used to different run fits and coverages.

What might surprise some is that Harrison thinks he will rush the passer. That could be welcome news for a linebacking core that has had only 21 sacks during Zimmer’s tenure as defensive coordinator. Harrison had six with the Steelers last season, which is the same number that the entire Bengals group had last year. The most any linebacker has had here during Zimmer’s reign was Dhani Jones with 3.5 in 2009.

With Geno Atkins and Michael Johnson on the defensive line, Harrison could draw more one-on-ones instead of getting a steady diet of double teams and being chipped.