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Bears hire Eric Washington as new defensive coordinator

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CHICAGO — The Bears have employed Eric Washington as their defensive coordinator, the workforce introduced Saturday.

Washington, 54, fills the emptiness that was created by Alan Williams’ resignation forward of Week 2 final season. Bears coach Matt Eberflus took over defensive playcalling duties and is predicted to proceed calling Chicago’s protection in 2024.

“We’re excited to announce that Eric Washington will probably be becoming a member of our workforce because the defensive coordinator,” Eberflus stated in a workforce assertion. “He is a superb communicator with elite management abilities and he’ll improve our present defensive employees. His observe report speaks for itself with coordinator expertise in addition to experience within the space of defensive position. I need to thank the opposite excellent candidates that utilized for this place.”

Washington has spent 20 seasons as an NFL coach, together with the previous 4 with the Buffalo Payments. He involves Chicago after serving because the Payments’ assistant head coach and defensive position coach throughout the 2023 season. Buffalo’s protection allowed the fourth-fewest factors (18.3 PPG) and generated the fourth-most sacks (54) in 2023.

“My household and I are past excited to be returning to the Chicago Bears,” Washington stated within the assertion. “It’s humbling to have the chance to contribute to one of the vital esteemed sports activities organizations on the planet!”

Washington is the third addition to the Bears’ teaching employees this week after Chicago employed offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph.

Throughout his season-ending information convention Jan. 10, Eberflus stated his superb defensive coordinator candidate is somebody who “will be in entrance of the room after I’m not in there, after I’m with the offense or getting ready for one thing else and dealing in different areas of the constructing.”

“You are in search of an all-star employees on each side,” Eberflus stated. “Dynamic, guys that may take from the classroom to the drill work after which actually put that on the sector. In that place, it is going to be tying that collectively. In fact and dealing with me to try this as effectively.”

This will probably be Washington’s second stint with the Bears. He beforehand labored underneath Lovie Smith as a defensive assistant from 2008 to 2009 and coached Chicago’s defensive position in 2010. He then spent the following 9 seasons working in Carolina underneath Ron Rivera, the Bears’ former defensive coordinator.

Washington will oversee a protection that ranked No. 1 towards the run (86.4 YPG) and was tied for the league lead with 22 interceptions in 2023. Regardless of a major defensive turnaround after the acquisition of edge rusher Montez Sweat on the commerce deadline, the Bears will proceed to deal with bettering their move rush this season after ending tied for the sixth-lowest strain proportion as a workforce (18.8%) and the second-fewest sacks (30).

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