The Chicago Bears hired former Buffalo Bills defensive line coach and assistant head coach Eric Washington to be their defensive coordinator. The move was not a surprise, considering Washington was one of four scheduled interviews, and they announced the hiring before the team even got to interview Joe Barry. Why was Washington such an easy decision?
Chicago Bears hire Eric Washington as defensive coordinator
First, his career started with the Chicago Bears in 2008 as a defensive assistant. He worked under Lovie Smith for three seasons. Smith has an influence on the way that Eberflus runs his defense currently, and in 2009 and 2010, Washington worked directly under Rod Marinelli, who is a strong mentor for Eberflus. They have a similar background for the past 15 years.
In 2011, he joined Ron Rivera with the Carolina Panthers. He was a great line coach there, and names such as Kawaan Short and Mario Addison can be considered great successes under him. Washington also was the defensive coordinator from 2018 to 2019. The two years of coordinator experience is valuable and better than that of some of the other candidates such as Terrell Wiliams.
From there, he followed Sean McDermott, who was a defensive coordinator with Carolina before Washington to the Buffalo Bills. He spent the past four seasons there.
At this stop, he was named senior defensive assistant and assistant head coach. Matt Eberflus could use somebody with these roles, considering he is still calling plays, but struggled in some of the gameday management areas. Washington can provide help here.
Still, for Washington, this is a promotion even without the play-calling role. For the Bears, they get a scheme fit and someone to focus on the weakest unit of the defense. For Washington, it is a new job, a promotion, and a defensive line that has building blocks and will add pieces.