Eric Washington

Coaching Rumors: Panthers, Packers, Giants

Eric Washington will return as the Panthers‘ defensive coordinator in 2019, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. Head coach Ron Rivera took over defensive play-calling late last season and will continue with those responsibilities next year, but Washington will be back as DC. Carolina is interviewing former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and former Jaguars defensive backs coach Perry Fewell, but neither of those potential hire would affect Washington’s standing on the Panthers’ staff.

Here’s more from the 2019 hiring cycle:

  • The Cardinals will retain special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers, tweets Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com. Kliff Kingsbury convinced Rodgers to stay even though he was fielding offers from other clubs, per Darlington. Meanwhile, the Cardinals received permission to interview Packers wide receivers coach David Raih for the same position, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Green Bay wasn’t planning to retain Raih, who coached alongside Kingsbury at Texas A&M in 2013.
  • Former Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers was thought to be following Todd Bowles to the Buccaneers, and while that union may still occur, Rodgers today interviewed for a senior defensive position with the Giants, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. If Rodgers does end up in Tampa Bay, he’ll be the club’s new defensive line coach, but it’s unclear what exactly his role would be with New York. Per RapSheet, the Giants would actually create a new position for Rodgers if he were to come on board.
  • Rodgers’ status with the Buccaneers is still up in the air, but Tampa Bay and new head coach Bruce Arians are well on their way to formulating a staff. In addition to a few hires which were reported yesterday, the Bucs will hire former NFL offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen as quarterbacks coach, reports Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link). Additionally, former Cardinals defensive backs coaches Kevin Ross and Nick Rapone will join Arians in Tampa Bay. Wide receivers coach Kevin Garver is also making the Arizona-to-Tampa trek, tweets Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com.
  • The Falcons have made of number of small changes to their coaching staff, tweets D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Dave Brock will move from running backs coach to assistant wide receivers coach, while Bernie Parmalee will switch from running backs coach to assistant special teams coach.

Panthers To Promote Eric Washington To DC?

The Panthers have now lost their defensive coordinator to a head coaching job two years in a row. The good news is that, yet again, it seems like they have someone in-house who is ready to take over. Eric Washington (vertical)

[RELATED: 2018 NFL Draft Order]

Panthers defensive line coach Eric Washington is likely to ascend to DC, according to Peter Schrager of NFL Network (on Twitter). Earlier this month, COO Tina Becker and GM Marty Hurney inked Washington to new deal, ensuring him the position if Wilks were to leave.

On Monday morning, we learned that Wilks is primed to take over as the Cardinals’ new head coach. Last year, the Panthers were in the same boat when Sean McDermott left to become the new head coach of the Bills. Wilks spent just one year as Carolina’s DC before getting his big chance, so this could be a launching pad to an HC opportunity for Washington down the line.

Last year marked Washington’s seventh season as the Panthers’ defensive line coach. In his time at that position, the Panthers have boasted one of the league’s most fearsome front fours. The Panthers have ranked in the top 10 in sacks in five of the past six seasons, including first in 2013, second in 2016, and third in 2017.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.