Bears hire Eric Washington as defensive coordinator

The Chicago Bears named Eric Washington as their defensive coordinator on Saturday.

Washington, 54, will assume the position previously overseen by head coach Matt Eberflus, who handled the coordinator responsibilities after Alan Williams resigned for personal reasons in September. Eberflus was the defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts from 2018-21 before becoming the head coach of the Bears.

“We are excited to announce that Eric Washington will be joining our team as the defensive coordinator,” Eberflus said. “He is a great communicator with elite leadership skills and he will enhance our current defensive staff. His track record speaks for itself with coordinator experience as well as expertise in the area of defensive line. I want to thank the other outstanding candidates that applied for this position.”

Washington has spent the past four seasons serving as the defensive line coach of the Bills. He also was an assistant head coach for Buffalo in 2023.

It’s a return to Chicago for Washington, who previously spent three seasons (2008-10) with the Bears. He was a defensive assistant the first two seasons before becoming defensive line coach. He then spent his first seven seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2011-17) as their defensive line coach before shifting to defensive coordinator for the next two campaigns (2018-19).

“My family and I are beyond excited to be returning to the Chicago Bears,” Washington said. “It is humbling to have the opportunity to contribute to one of the most esteemed sports organizations in the world.”

The Bears allowed an NFL-best 86.4 rushing yards per game this season and were tied for the league lead with 22 interceptions. However, they also permitted 237.8 passing yards per game (ranked 25th in the league) and 22.3 points per game (ranked 20th).