The Chicago Bears have hired Eric Washington as their new defensive coordinator, according to a source. Washington, who has spent 20 seasons as an NFL coach, most recently served as the Buffalo Bills’ assistant head coach and defensive line coach during the 2023 season. Under Washington’s guidance, the Bills’ defense allowed the fourth-fewest points per game and generated the fourth-most sacks in the league.
Washington’s hiring comes after the resignation of Alan Williams, the Bears’ former defensive coordinator, ahead of Week 2 last season. Bears coach Matt Eberflus took over playcalling duties and will continue to lead Chicago’s defense in 2024.
This will be Washington’s second stint with the Bears, as he previously worked as a defensive assistant under Lovie Smith from 2008 to 2009 and coached the team’s defensive line in 2010. For the past nine seasons, Washington worked under Ron Rivera in Carolina.
As the Bears’ new defensive coordinator, Washington will oversee a defense that ranked first against the run and tied for the league lead with 22 interceptions in 2023. However, despite the team’s success in those areas, the Bears are looking to improve their pass rush. Last season, they finished with the second-fewest sacks in the league and tied for the sixth-lowest pressure percentage as a team.
Washington’s hiring is part of the Bears’ recent coaching staff changes. They also recently hired Shane Waldron as offensive coordinator and Kerry Joseph as quarterbacks coach. Eberflus emphasized the importance of having a dynamic coaching staff that can translate classroom instruction to on-field performance.
The Bears are hopeful that Washington’s experience and expertise will help bolster their defense and propel the team to success in the upcoming season. With a strong focus on improving their pass rush, Chicago aims to build upon their defensive successes from last year and continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.