April 24, 2024

For the primary time since September, Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus can have a separate defensive coordinator on his employees.

The Bears are hiring Buffalo Payments assistant head coach and defensive position coach Eric Washington to be their new DC, a supply confirmed Saturday morning. 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, a mentor of Eberflus.

Washington has coached the Payments 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. Earlier than that, he coached the Panthers defensive position for seven seasons.

The Payments protection ranked within the top-10 in a number of classes in 2023, together with complete and passing yards allowed per sport, sack charge, interception charge and factors allowed per sport.

Eberflus didn’t fill the defensive coordinator place in September when Alan Williams resigned for what sources advised 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.

Whether or not Washington will name performs will likely be a giant query for Eberflus. Eberflus stated earlier this month he nonetheless was figuring out whether or not he would proceed to name performs after bringing in a coordinator.

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“It’s one thing I’ve acknowledged I like to do,” Eberflus stated. “However as we discuss to those candidates, we’re going to maintain every thing open proper now.”

Whereas 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 324.1 yards allowed per sport and had the top-ranked speeding protection, permitting simply 86.4 yards per sport on the bottom. In addition they 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 now joins what the Bears hope is an ascending group. He performed tight finish at Grambling State and in addition coached defensive position in faculty at Northwestern (2004-07) and Ohio (2001-03).

The Bears reportedly interviewed a minimum of three different coaches to affix their defensive employees: former Inexperienced 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. The Bears have already got introduced the hiring of offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph.