It’s hard to put your finger on what’s different about Nick Fairley, other than to say he just sounds different.

As in more mature and confident. Smarter even, about life and football.

A couple of off-season brushes with the law last year can change a player. But so can playing time.

Fairley enters his third year. He finally got his first real taste of football last year after an injury sidelined starter Corey Williams. Fairley made the most of it and turned in 5½ sacks, third-best on the team.

But Fairley was one of the few bright spots on a defense that will see several new starters this year.

“We’ve got some changes in our room,” he said. “But it’s going to be up to the guys that are in there now to come when we get in our workouts this off-season in OTAs and minicamp to get a chemistry, to get that bond to where when we go out on Sunday we know what each other’s doing, we know where each other’s at, we know each other’s assignments and everything’s just second nature out there.”

Fairley also seems very clear on the concept of what the defensive line will try to accomplish this season.