Report: Bears hire Bills defensive line coach Eric Washington as defensive coordinator

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Chicago Bears reportedly hired Bills defensive line coach Eric Washington as their defensive coordinator, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

While Washington is taking on a bigger title with Chicago, he will reportedly not call the Bears’ defensive plays, similar to his role in Buffalo and signifying more of a lateral move rather than a direct promotion.

Washington joined Sean McDermott’s staff in 2020 as the defensive line coach before being promoted to senior defensive assistant in 2022 and later assistant head coach this past season. He previously worked with McDermott in Carolina from 2011 to 2016.

This will be Washington’s second stint in Chicago, as he previously was a defensive coach with the Bears from 2008 to 2010.

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The move leaves the Bills without a defensive line coach and also could lead to either an internal promotion or outside hire to fill Washington’s advanced role within the coaching staff. Buffalo was without a defensive coordinator for the 2023 season after McDermott took over playcalling duties, and it remains to be seen if they will hire someone to take over the role last held by Leslie Frazier.

Bills linebackers coach Bobby Babich, who could be a candidate for a promotion with Buffalo, has also reportedly received interview requests for vacant defensive coordinator jobs around the NFL, including with the Miami Dolphins.

McDermott declined to get into specifics regarding potential staff movements or hirings when asked about the defensive coordinator job during his end-of-season press conference Tuesday.

“I felt like overall it was knocking some rust off early, maybe just getting back into the seat of doing it again, but I felt very comfortable back in that position,” McDermott said of calling Buffalo’s defensive plays Tuesday. “Certainly more work on one’s plate when you do that, when you take on a dual role like that. And that will be evaluated as I go forward here and we go forward.”

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Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.

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