Eric Washington is headed back to the Windy City, having accepted the role of defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears. Tom Pelissero was first to break the news on Saturday that Washington was leaving Buffalo for Chicago. Peliserro added that head coach Matt Eberflus will continue calling defensive plays.
Initially joining the Buffalo Bills in 2020 as a defensive line coach, Washington’s role with the team’s defense continually grew during his tenure. Ahead of the 2022 NFL season, head coach Sean McDermott further promoted Washington, adding the title of assistant head coach to his NFL resume.
Washington has decades of football coaching experience, beginning as an assistant coach back in 1997 with Texas Tech, then moving on to Ohio in the same role from 2001-2003. In 2004, Washington joined Northwestern as the team’s defensive line coach, a position he held until 2007.
In 2008, Washington made his was to the Chicago Bears as a defensive assistant. His first promotion to defensive line coach in the NFL was with the Bears in 2010. Then from 2011-2017, Washington held the same defensive line coach role with the Carolina Panthers. Washington was then promoted the defensive coordinator of the Panthers in 2019, a position he held for two seasons until he joined McDermott in Buffalo.
Eric Washington was selected to participate in the NFL Coach and Front Office Accelerator program in 2022. The accelerator program seeks to promote diversity throughout the NFL, helping to better spotlight minority candidates for future decision-making roles — including head-coaching and general manager opportunities.
Attention now turns to Sean McDermott, who will look to fill Washington’s shoes as the team’s defensive line coach.