Bears Hire Eric Washington as Defensive Coordinator

The Bears hired Buffalo Bills defensive line coach Eric Washington as defensive coordinator on Saturday. Washington has been coaching for 17 years in the NFL, originally beginning as an assistant to Lovie Smith when he was head coach in Chicago.

Washington also spent 10 years with the Carolina Panthers, eventually, serving two years as defensive coordinator starting in 2018. After a coaching change in Carolina, HC Sean McDermott got him a job with Buffalo in 2020. He replaces Alan Williams, who was fired early in the 2023 season for inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

Head coach Matt Eberflus will retain the play-calling duties he took over last season, giving Washington fewer responsibilities as DC. His work with defensive lineman will be important as the Bears try to improve an underperforming pass rush.

A look at the sack rates of the units he has worked with show he has had a fair amount of success at generating pressure. The acquisition of Montez Sweat from the Commanders last season should help him to succeed in that area with Chicago.

The big jobs on the Bears coaching staff have been filled now heading into the draft and free agency. The pressure is now firmly on Eberflus to show some improvement or he might be the one out of work next season.

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