The Chicago Bears were casting a wide net in their defensive coordinator search, with a few names linked to the job raising eyebrows among Bears fans. Any hire they made for the opening was going to be preferable to Joe Barry, but they may have actually made the right decision.
Similar to their decision to hire Shane Waldron as the offensive coordinator, the Bears elected to go with an experienced, high-profile coach to fill their defensive coordinator void.
Bears News: Chicago Hires Eric Washington As Defensive Coordinator
The Chicago Bears' decision to hire Eric Washington demonstrates their commitment to experience. Washington, 54, is a well-regarded assistant who previously worked in Chicago. During his previous tenure with the Bears, Washington was a key member of the coaching staff as the defensive line coach, helping lead the team to the division title and NFC championship game in 2010.
Washington has been with the Buffalo Bills since 2020 as a defensive line coach and assistant head coach, helping build some of the strongest defensive fronts in the league. His Bills ranked fourth in the NFL in sacks in 2023. His success on that end will be helpful for the Bears who have ranked dead last in the NFL in sacks over the last two seasons.
Chicago's defensive line is young but talented. With Washington's coaching, they can take a step forward and become one of the elite units in the league.
Despite the injection of experience to the coaching staff, head coach Matt Eberflus will reportedly continue to call plays on defense. This also makes sense as Eberflus' aggressive play-calling on that end helped turn the Bears' defensive units' season around. Let's hope that improvement continues into 2024.