For the primary time since September, Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus could have a separate defensive coordinator on his employees.
The Bears introduced Saturday that they employed Buffalo Bills assistant head coach and defensive position coach Eric Washington to be their new DC. Washington beforehand coached with the Bears from 2008-10 underneath Lovie Smith and served because the defensive position coach in 2010 with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, an Eberflus mentor.
Washington coached the Bills defensive position since 2020 and was promoted to senior defensive assistant in 2022 and assistant head coach in 2023. He has two years of defensive coordinator expertise with the Carolina Panthers in 2018-19 underneath Ron Rivera. Before that, he coached the Panthers defensive position for seven seasons.
The Bills protection ranked within the prime 10 in a number of classes in 2023, together with whole yards and passing yards allowed per sport, sack charge, interception charge and factors allowed per sport.
Washington is taken into account a robust instructor and chief who’s detailed in his concentrate on fundamentals and can have the ability to assist the teaching employees schematically, a supply mentioned.
“He is a great communicator with elite leadership skills and he will enhance our current defensive staff,” Eberflus mentioned in an announcement Saturday. “His track record speaks for itself with coordinator experience as well as expertise in the area of defensive line.”
Eberflus didn’t fill the defensive coordinator place in September when Alan Williams resigned for what sources informed the Tribune was conduct-related causes, although Eberflus did add senior defensive analyst Phil Snow to assist scout opponents. Eberflus took over play calling, and with the assistance of the addition of defensive finish Montez Sweat, helped the protection flip round from a tough begin.
Eberflus mentioned this month that he nonetheless was figuring out whether or not he would proceed to name performs after bringing in a coordinator, however NFL Network reported Saturday that the expectation is Eberflus will stay in that position.
“It’s something I’ve stated I love to do,” Eberflus mentioned this month. “But as we talk to these candidates, we’re going to keep everything open right now.”
Washington will assist ease the load for Eberflus, who famous throughout the season he was working later nights to fill each roles. Eberflus mentioned he was on the lookout for a coordinator with excessive character who was a robust motivator. He needed somebody who may lead the defensive room whereas Eberflus addresses different areas of the crew.
“My family and I are beyond excited to be returning to the Chicago Bears,” Washington mentioned in an announcement. “It is humbling to have the opportunity to contribute to one of the most esteemed sports organizations in the world.”
While the Bears fired 5 offensive coaches — together with coordinator Luke Getsy — when their 7-10 season ended, Eberflus opted to maintain the defensive employees intact. Washington joins a bunch that features cornerbacks coach/defensive passing sport coordinator Jon Hoke, defensive position coach Travis Smith, linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi and safeties coach Andre Curtis.
The Bears completed twelfth with 324.2 yards allowed per sport and had the top-ranked dashing protection, permitting simply 86.4 yards per sport on the bottom. They additionally completed with a league-best 3.57% interception charge after totaling 22 interceptions to go along with six fumble-recovery takeaways.
Their passing protection, ranked twenty fifth with 237.8 yards allowed per sport, and their league-worst 4.86% sack charge want enchancment.
Washington joins what the Bears hope is an ascending group. He performed tight finish at Grambling State and likewise coached defensive position at Northwestern (2004-07) and Ohio (2001-03).
The Bears reportedly interviewed a minimum of three different coaches to hitch their defensive employees: former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry, Tennessee Titans assistant head coach/defensive position Terrell Williams and Titans defensive cross sport coordinator Chris Harris.
Washington would be the Bears’ third main rent for the reason that season ended. They have introduced the additions of offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph. They nonetheless want to rent working backs and broad receivers coaches.