The Buffalo Bills announced the promotion of Eric Washington to assistant head coach/defensive line coach on Wednesday. Washington’s promotion to assistant head coach — the role that Leslie Frazier held from 2020-2022 — all but assures Frazier will not return to the team after this coming season.
Washington has been with the Bills since 2020, when he was hired as its defensive line coach. For the 2022 season, Washington was promoted to senior defensive assistant.
Washington has coached in the NFL for more than a decade, beginning as a defensive assistant for the Chicago Bears in 2008, then transitioning to the Carolina Panthers in 2011. In Carolina, Washington was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2018, after Sean McDermott left to become the head coach of the Bills. In 2020, Washington joined Buffalo’s defensive coaching staff, reuniting with McDermott.
In total, Eric Washington and Sean McDermott have a wealth of experience and familiarity working together from their time in Carolina (2011-2016), and with the Bills (2020-current). Washington’s promotion to assistant head coach makes sense from a trust standpoint.
Recall that McDermott will direct the team’s defense this coming season, serving as the defensive coordinator following the departure of Frazier. With that added responsibility now on McDermott’s already full plate, Washington is positioned to be able to step in and lead the defense should McDermott find a need.
While much has changed with coaching titles in key areas of the Buffalo Bills’ defense, the team still boasts a tremendous amount of NFL experience.