Eric Washington

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

The offensive and defensive coordinator carousels are in winding down. Here is how the OC and DC searches look:

Updated 2-14-24 (5:50pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dave Ragone)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Ken Dorsey)

  • Joe Brady, interim offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (Bills): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Carolina Panthers (Out: Thomas Brown)

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Brad Idzik, wide receivers coach (Buccaneers): Hired

Chicago Bears (Out: Luke Getsy)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Brian Callahan)

  • Andy Dickerson, offensive line coach (Seahawks): To interview
  • Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): Promoted

Cleveland Browns (Out: Alex Van Pelt)

Las Vegas Raiders (Out: Mick Lombardi)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Kellen Moore)

New England Patriots (Out: Bill O’Brien)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Pete Carmichael)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Brian Johnson)

  • Jerrod Johnson, quarterbacks coach (Texans): Interviewed
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Interviewed 1/23
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Chargers): Hired

Pittsburgh Steelers (Out: Matt Canada)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Shane Waldron)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Dave Canales)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Tim Kelly)

  • Nick Holz, passing game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Eric Studesville, associate head coach/running backs coach (Dolphins): Interview requested

Washington Commanders (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Chip Kelly, former head coach (Eagles/49ers): On team’s radar
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Hired

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Ryan Nielsen)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Mike Macdonald)

  • Zach Orr, inside linebackers coach (Ravens): Promoted

Buffalo Bills

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Promoted
  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Sean Desai, former defensive coordinator (Eagles): To interview

Chicago Bears (Out: Alan Williams)

  • Joe Barry, former defensive coordinator (Packers): To interview 1/27
  • Chris Harris, secondary coach (Titans): To interview
  • Eric Washington, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Bills): Hired
  • Terrell Williams, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Titans): To interview

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Dan Quinn)

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Barry)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Mike Caldwell)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Derrick Ansley)

  • Jesse Minter, defensive coordinator (Michigan): Hired

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Raheem Morris)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Vic Fangio)

New England Patriots

  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Promoted
  • Michael Hodges, linebackers coach (Saints): To interview
  • Tem Lukabu, outside linebackers coach (Panthers): To interview
  • Christian Parker, defensive backs coach (Broncos): Interviewed

New York Giants (Out: Don Martindale)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Sean Desai)

  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Vic Fangio, former defensive coordinator (Dolphins): Hired
  • Ron Rivera, former head coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/22

San Francisco 49ers (Out: Steve Wilks)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Clint Hurtt)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Shane Bowen)

  • Brandon Lynch, cornerbacks coach (Browns): Interviewed 1/30
  • Dennard Wilson, defensive backs coach (Ravens): Hired

Washington Commanders (Out: Jack Del Rio)

  • Joe Cullen, defensive line coach (Chiefs): Considered a candidate
  • Joe Whitt, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Hired

Bears Hire Eric Washington As DC

A day after meeting with Eric Washington for an in-person interview, the Bears have added the coach to their staff. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Bears have hired Washington as their new defensive coordinator.

This is a bit of a homecoming for Washington, as the coach had a three-year stint with the Bears coaching staff earlier in his career. That job in Chicago was followed by a long stint with the Panthers that culminated in him being named defensive coordinator in 2018. The Panthers struggled during Washington’s two seasons at the helm, including a 2019 campaign where Carolina finished 31st in points allowed and 23rd in yards allowed.

He later reunited with former Panthers DC Sean McDermott in Buffalo, becoming the Bills defensive line coach. He earned a promotion to senior defensive assistant in 2022 and assistant head coach in 2023. The Bills ranked fourth in the league in sacks this past year with 54, and the team has consistently had a strong pass rush under Washington.

Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned back in September, citing health and family concerns. Matt Eberflus took over defensive play-calling duties, and per Pelissero, the head coach is expected to retain that responsibility for the 2024 campaign. The Bears defense allowed a league-low 1,468 rushing yards last season, and they finished tied for the league-lead with 22 interceptions. However, the Bears also allowed 31 passing touchdowns, the fourth-highest mark in the NFL.

Washington was one of four known candidates for the Chicago job. The Bears also showed interest in former Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry, Titans secondary coach Chris Harris, and Titans assistant head coach/defensive line coach Terrell Williams.

As for Buffalo, Ryan O’Halloran of The Buffalo News opines that Washington’s departure makes it clear that McDermott isn’t going to hire a defensive coordinator. Otherwise, the role likely would have been reserved for Washington.

Bears Request DC Interview With Bills’ Eric Washington

The Bears continue on in their efforts to add a new defensive coordinator for 2024. As they attempt to replace the former coordinator, Alan Williams, Chicago has requested an interview with Bills assistant head coach and defensive line coach Eric Washington to potentially fill their role at defensive coordinator, according to Jonathan Jones of NFL on CBS.

Washington has a history in Chicago. After several years coaching at the college level, Washington broke into coaching at the NFL level as a defensive assistant for the Bears in 2008. After only two years in the role, Washington was promoted to defensive line coach for Chicago. He only held the job with the Bears for one year before taking the same role for the Panthers from 2011-17.

After those seven years as a position coach, Washington was granted another promotion, allowing him to serve as a defensive coordinator for the first time. Under Washington’s first year, the Panthers defense delivered middling results. In Year 2, things took a turn for the worse as the team finished 31st in points allowed and 23rd in yards allowed.

Following his time in Carolina, Washington reunited with his former defensive coordinator, Sean McDermott, in Buffalo as a defensive line coach, once again. In his four years with the Bills, Washington added senior defensive assistant to his title before landing on his current role for this year. The Bills ranked fourth in the league in sack this year with 54, and the team has consistently had a strong pass rush under Washington.

So far, the Bears have already interviewed Titans secondary coach Chris Harris and Titans assistant head coach and defensive line coach Terrell Williams for the open position. Whoever gets the job will have a bit of a safety net. Since head coach Matt Eberflus just spent the season calling defensive plays following the surprise departure of Williams, the Bears know they have a functional play-caller for the defense if the new coordinator struggles.

If permitted, Washington will be the third to interview for the job. Should it pan out, it would result in a nice return for Washington to Chicago, where his NFL coaching career began.

Bills Notes: Cook, Cornerback, Ateman, Coaching Staff

The Bills have done some work revamping their running back depth chart this offseason, but the team’s main holdover believes he’s ready to secure the starting gig. During an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, James Cook made it clear that he’s ready to be the team’s top running back.

“Obviously, RB1,” Cook responded when asked about his role in 2023 (h/t Ryan Talbot of NewYorkUpstate.com). “So you know, just come in and do what I do. Change the game with my versatility. Catching the ball out of the backfield. Pass blocking. Just try to do what I can do to help the team win games and ultimately win the Super Bowl.”

The Georgia product was a second-round pick by the Bills last offseason and ended up getting into 16 games as a rookie. While he played second fiddle to Devin Singletary, Cook still finished the season with 687 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. Singletary is now out of the picture, although the Bills did bring in Damien Harris and Latavius Murray for some extra depth.

Even with the additions, Cook is confident that he’s prepared to be the starter, and the second-year player sounds like he’s ready to stand alongside his brother, Dalvin Cook, when it comes to the league’s top running backs.

“My goal is to be an All-Pro or Pro Bowler like my brother,” Cook said. “Hopefully be in the Pro Bowl with him one day.”

More notes out of Buffalo…

  • It’s uncertain who will start opposite Tre’Davious White at cornerback, but Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic believes the gig will ultimately come down to three players. Dane Jackson, Christian Benford, and 2022 first-round pick Kaiir Elam will “likely remain in a battle” for the CB2 gig once training camp opens, according to the writer. Buscaglia notes that the coaching staff has been adamant that the role won’t be influenced by contract or draft pedigree, meaning the competition is truly wide open for all three players.
  • The Bills added Marcell Ateman earlier this month, and Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets that the receiver inked a one-year, $940K deal. The wideout played for the St. Louis BattleHawks in the XFL this season, totaling 259 yards while not scoring a touchdown. The Oklahoma State product was a seventh-round pick by the Raiders in 2018, and he compiled 20 receptions for 270 yards and a touchdown through his first two seasons in the NFL. In Buffalo, he’s expected to be a special teamer and end-of-the-depth-chart option at WR.
  • The Bills announced yesterday (via Twitter) that they’ve promoted Eric Washington to assistant head coach/defensive line coach. The veteran coach joined the organization in 2020 as their DL coach, and he earned a promotion to senior defensive assistant before last season. He had previous stops with the Bears and Panthers, including a one-year stint as defensive coordinator in Carolina.
  • The Bills have some extra depth on the edge, meaning they could look to move on from one of their former second-round picks. Earlier today, our own Adam La Rose explored the trade candidacy of Carlos Basham Jr..

AFC Coaching Notes: Titans, Jets, Bills, Steelers, Raiders, Patriots

After parting ways with the Panthers early this year, former NFL linebacker Chase Blackburn has joined the Titans as the team’s assistant special teams coach. After playing ten years in the NFL for the Giants and Panthers, Blackburn transitioned into the coaching world working his way up to the role of the Panthers’ special teams coordinator, a position he held for four seasons.

Panthers’ head coach Matt Rhule initially retained Blackburn from former head coach Ron Rivera‘s staff, but fired him this January. He finds second life with fellow former NFL linebacker and current Titans’ head coach Mike Vrabel. Additionally, after season-long tryouts, the Titans have promoted Clint McMillan (defensive line assistant) and Kylan Butler (offensive assistant) to full time positions.

Here are a few other coaching updates from around the AFC:

  • The Jets announced a series of assistant coach hirings including Ben Wilkerson and Dan Shamash. Wilkerson moves from one New York team to another, taking the same position as assistant offensive line coach on head coach Robert Saleh‘s staff. Shamash is a New York native that returns to the tri-state area after five seasons as the Chargers’ assistant tight ends coach to become the Jets’ situational football/game management coordinator. He’s worked with Saleh before in Jacksonville.
  • Elsewhere in New York, the Bills announced that they’ve added Mike Shula as a senior offensive assistant. The former college head coach and NFL offensive coordinator spent the past two seasons in Denver as the Broncos’ quarterbacks coach. They also announced the promotion of Eric Washington. The Bills’ defensive line coach of the past two seasons will have the title of senior defensive assistant added to his billing.
  • The Steelers announced the hiring of their new assistant line coach earlier this month. Isaac Williams joins the NFL coaching ranks after years in college football. Williams has been the offensive line coach at North Carolina Central University (2021), Morgan State (2018-20), and Northern Colorado (2016-17).
  • Las Vegas has hired former college coaching assistant Frederick Walker as a new offensive assistant assigned to work with quarterbacks, according to Myles Simmons of NBC Sports. Walker most recently worked as the quarterbacks coach for the UMass Minutemen. His time in the college ranks saw him working with Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones at Duke University as well as Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott during his time at Mississippi State. He’ll work underneath new head coach Josh McDaniels and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi to assist Derek Carr and company on their road back to consecutive playoff seasons.
  • After being passed up by Matt Groh for the director of player personnel promotion, Eliot Wolf was announced as the Patriots’ new director of scouting on Friday, a promotion from his previous title of front office consultant. According to Wilson, the team also announced that Camren Williams would be named college scouting director.

Redskins Hire Ron Rivera As HC

The Redskins didn’t let him get away. Washington will hire former Panthers HC Ron Rivera as its next head coach and will give him a five-year contract, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The hire will be announced tomorrow.

Washington fired former head coach Jay Gruden in October, which allowed owner Dan Snyder to get a jump on the hiring process. That may have been crucial, because when Rivera was let go by Carolina earlier this month, he immediately became one of the most qualified coaching candidates on the market, and he would have had other suitors, like the division-rival Cowboys and Giants. But Snyder, who perhaps realized that his silver tuna acquisition of Mike Tomlin was never going to happen, acted quickly to bring Rivera to Washington and keep him there.

Rivera, who played linebacker for the Bears from 1984-92 and who was a part of Chicago’s Super Bowl XX victory, became the team’s quality control coach in 1997. He paid his dues and moved up the coaching ranks, ultimately becoming the Bears’ defensive coordinator in 2004. But it was his stint as the Chargers’ defensive coordinator from 2008-10 that solidified him as one of the best defensive minds in the game, and he parlayed that status into a head coaching gig with the Panthers in 2011.

The Panthers never captured the Lombardi Trophy with Rivera, but he did get them to Super Bowl 50 at the end of the 2015 season, and he earned Coach of the Year honors that year. Including playoffs, Carolina went 79-67-1 with Rivera at the helm.

Although Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins may never be Cam Newton, Rivera obviously feels comfortable enough with the Ohio State product to accept the Washington job. Indeed, many believed it would be difficult for the Redskins to attract a top HC candidate, so it’s a good sign for Washington fans that Rivera apparently believes in the direction the team is heading. And now that Bruce Allen is out of the building and Rivera is in, perhaps the team can bring in a top exec as well (though Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that the team may not complete its front office changes until after the draft).

As far as Rivera’s staff is concerned, there has been speculation linking his former defensive coordinator in Carolina, Steve Wilks, to the same job in Washington. Though Wilks is currently under contract with the Browns — and therefore in limbo — John Keim of ESPN.com says he will not be coming to Washington (Twitter link). Indeed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that Rivera is targeting former Jaguars and Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio as his defensive coordinator, which could make for a very strong staff in the nation’s capital. Schefter says Del Rio is the leading candidate for the job.

Joe Person of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that Eric Washington and Sam Mills III could be other names to watch for the DC job, and La Canfora says Rivera is likely to retain offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.

The hire has been well-received, and given the way Snyder handled the Rivera hire and the Allen dismissal, perhaps Redskins fans can feel a bit of optimism heading into the new year.

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.