The Chicago Bears bring back a familar face to be defensive coordinator

Chicago Bears, Eric Washington
Chicago Bears, Eric Washington / Handout/GettyImages

Matt Eberflus has made a coaching decision. He has hired long-time NFL coach Eric Washington to be the next defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears. Last season, the Bears had to let Alan Williams go due to some "personal" matters. To this day there isn't a clear picture as to what happened, or is still happening, with Wiliams. My only source on the matter won't fully divulge what he has heard and I'm not going to speculate. All I heard is that it isn't great. Matt Eberflus took over the defensive play-calling and that turned out to be a blessing as the defense excelled under his control.

Now, Matt Eberflus and the Chicago Bears have hired a new defensive coordinator for the 2024 season. The title is by name only though as Eberflus has made it known that he plans on continuing to be the play-caller on defense next season. The hiring of Washington makes sense though. In fact, this will be the second time that Washington will coach in Chicago. The last time he was here was in 2010 under Lovie Smith.

Before making it to the NFL, Eric Washington was part of the staff at Northwestern where he coached former Bears defensive end Corey Wootton. Wootton was drafted by the Bears in the fourth round in 2010. You have to assume Washington, who was the defensive line coach at the time, played a part in him coming to Chicago. Wootton went on to play five years in the NFL — four with the Bears and one with the Vikings.

Washington did not last beyond the 2010 season though. He followed Ron Rivera to the Carolina Panthers in 2011 where he coached for nine years. Washington was the defensive line coach for seven years before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2018. He held that position for two years before Rivera and the staff were fired ahead of the 2020 season. It did not take long for Washington to find a new job though. He was hired as the Bills defensive line coach in 2020. He held that position for two years before being promoted to a dual role of defensive line coach and senior defensive assistant.

Now, Eric Washington returns to the Chicago Bears as the defensive coordinator. Again, he won't be calling plays, but he should be able to help manage the day-to-day and even some other game-day tasks. He's very familiar with the defensive scheme as it's similar to what he ran when in Carolina. This was back when Julius Peppers, Mario Addison, and Luke Kuechly were the faces of the Panthers' defense.


Washington is the perfect fit in this situation having come from a Bills team that the head coach is also the defensive coordinator. I am excited to see how he helps develop defensive linemen Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens. He should be able to continue to put Montez Sweat in positions to succeed as well.