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Eric Washington
Defensive Coordinator
College:
Grambling State
Experience:
10

Bio

COACHING
Eric Washington was named Carolina’s defensive coordinator in January of 2018. He will enter his first season as defensive coordinator and eighth season with the Panthers in 2018. He served as Carolina’s defensive line coach from 2011-2017.

During his tenure as defensive line coach, Washington has overseen one of the most productive defensive lines in the NFL. Since 2012, no group of defensive linemen produced more sacks than Carolina's 219.0, part of Carolina’s NFL-leading 280 total sacks. Carolina finished ranked in the top 10 in sacks in five of the past six seasons, including a No. 1 ranking in 2013, a No. 2 ranking in 2016 and a No. 3 ranking in 2017.

Washington's defensive line has not only been productive in getting to the quarterback, but also at stopping the run. Carolina's run defense has ranked in the top six in the NFL in four of the past six seasons, including a No. 2 ranking in 2013.

Washington's teaching has been recognized in the form of in-season and postseason honors for his pupils. Under Washington, the Panthers defensive line has featured two All-Pro selections, two Pro Bowl selections, and three PFWA All-Rookie honorees. Since 2013, a Panthers defensive lineman has earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week three times and NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice.

Washington’s success with the defensive line has contributed to success for the Panthers defense as a whole with Carolina fielding a top-10 defense in the NFL in five of the past six seasons, including four consecutive from 2012-15. Washington is part of a Carolina coaching staff that has led the Panthers to playoff appearances in four of the past five seasons, making an appearance in Super Bowl 50 after the 2015 season.

In the 2017 season, the defensive line accounted for 40.0 of Carolina’s 50.0 sacks, ranking second among all NFL defensive lines in sack totals. Defensive ends Julius Peppers and Mario Addison each tallied 11 sacks to become the fifth pair of Panthers with double-digit sacks in the same season. The line also helped Carolina hold opponents to just 88.1 rushing yards per game, ranking third in the League. The 88.1 yards were the second-fewest allowed in a season in franchise history. Overall, the Panthers defense ranked seventh in total yards allowed in the NFL.

In 2016, under Washington's guidance, defensive end Mario Addison enjoyed a breakout season with a career-high and team-leading 9.5 sacks, while defensive tackles Kawann Short (6) and Star Lotulelei (4) combined for 10 sacks, tied for the fifth-most by a pair of defensive tackles in the league. Lotulelei earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his three-sack performance in Week 8 versus Arizona, joining Short as the only defensive tackles in franchise history to win a Defensive Player of the Week Award.

In 2015, Carolina ranked sixth in the NFL with 44 sacks, including 33.5 from the defensive line. The unit contributed to a defense that ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense, the fourth consecutive season the team fielded a top-10 defense, and also helped Carolina rank fourth in the NFL in rushing defense en route to winning the NFC Championship and advancing to Super Bowl 50.

Short earned his first Pro Bowl selection under Washington's tutelage, recording a Panthers' defensive tackle record 11 sacks, which tied for eighth in the NFL and first among defensive tackles. In his second season, defensive end Kony Ealy posted a sack in five consecutive regular season games and tied an NFL record with three sacks in the Super Bowl. Team captain Charles Johnson was slowed by injuries in the middle of the season but returned to start all three postseason games and notch three sacks. In all, 10 different defensive linemen notched at least one sack for Carolina.

In 2014, Washington's defensive line totaled 32.5 of the team's 40 sacks, including a team-leading 8.5 Johnson and four by all-rookie Ealy, as the Panthers ranked 10th in the NFL in total defense. In Carolina's 27-16 NFC Wild Card victory over Arizona, the defensive line gathered four sacks to help limit the Cardinals to an NFL postseason record 78 total net yards.

In 2013, the defensive line helped the Panthers rank second in the NFL in total defense, second in rushing defense and sixth in passing defense as 40 of the team's NFL-leading 60 sacks came from defensive linemen. Carolina recorded six or more sacks in four games, including a franchise-record nine at Atlanta. Johnson and defensive end Greg Hardy evolved into one of the best pass rushing duos in the NFL. Hardy tied a team record with 15 sacks to earn Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, while Johnson notched 11 sacks. From 2012-13, Hardy and Johnson combined for 49.5 sacks, tied for the most in the NFL, and were the only pair of teammates in the league with double-digit sacks both of those two years. Additionally, Lotulelei and Short earned all-rookie honors.

Washington's defensive line in 2012 helped the Panthers rank 10th in the NFL in total defense with as 37 of their 39 sacks coming from the defensive line. Johnson and Hardy became the first Panthers tandem to record double-digit sacks since 2002. Johnson led the team and ranked sixth in the NFL with 12.5 sacks in addition to forcing seven fumbles, the second most in the league, and Hardy posted 11 sacks. Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards registered a career-high six sacks after notching just 5.5 in his previous eight seasons.

In 2011, Washington was charged with mentoring a young group that started three different rookies at defensive tackle. The unit produced 25.5 of the team's 31 sacks, led by Johnson's team-high nine.

Washington joined Carolina after spending 2008-10 with the Chicago Bears. Elevated to defensive line coach in 2010, Washington presided over a group that accounted for 25 sacks and helped the Bears rank ninth in the NFL in total defense, second in rushing defense and fourth in scoring defense. Along the defensive line, he coached Pro Bowler Julius Peppers and end Israel Idonije, who tied for the team lead with eight sacks each.

Washington worked the previous two seasons as Chicago's defensive assistant/assistant defensive line coach. He gained his first professional coaching experience by twice participating in the NFL's Minority Internship Program, assisting with the Bears defensive line during training camp in 2005 and aiding the Atlanta Falcons' linebackers during training camp in 2004.

From 2004-07, Washington served as the defensive line coach at Northwestern. With the Wildcats, he coached several pro prospects. End Luis Castillo was selected in the first round by San Diego in 2005, and tackle Barry Cofield was chosen in the fourth round by the New York Giants in 2006. Washington also tutored end Corey Wootton, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Bears in 2010.

PLAYING AND PERSONAL
Washington played tight end at Grambling State from 1989-90 for legendary head coach Eddie Robinson and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Grambling State in 1993. Commissioned as a Naval Reserve Officer in 1998, Washington was assigned to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., where he served as the defensive coordinator of the football team for three years.

HISTORY
Tight end: Grambling State 1989-90. College coach: Texas A&M 1997, Ohio 2001-03, Northwestern 2004-07. Pro coach: Chicago Bears 2008-10, joined Panthers in 2011.

COACHING
Eric Washington was named Carolina’s defensive coordinator in January of 2018. He will enter his first season as defensive coordinator and eighth season with the Panthers in 2018. He served as Carolina’s defensive line coach from 2011-2017.

During his tenure as defensive line coach, Washington has overseen one of the most productive defensive lines in the NFL. Since 2012, no group of defensive linemen produced more sacks than Carolina's 219.0, part of Carolina’s NFL-leading 280 total sacks. Carolina finished ranked in the top 10 in sacks in five of the past six seasons, including a No. 1 ranking in 2013, a No. 2 ranking in 2016 and a No. 3 ranking in 2017.

Washington's defensive line has not only been productive in getting to the quarterback, but also at stopping the run. Carolina's run defense has ranked in the top six in the NFL in four of the past six seasons, including a No. 2 ranking in 2013.

Washington's teaching has been recognized in the form of in-season and postseason honors for his pupils. Under Washington, the Panthers defensive line has featured two All-Pro selections, two Pro Bowl selections, and three PFWA All-Rookie honorees. Since 2013, a Panthers defensive lineman has earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week three times and NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice.

Washington’s success with the defensive line has contributed to success for the Panthers defense as a whole with Carolina fielding a top-10 defense in the NFL in five of the past six seasons, including four consecutive from 2012-15. Washington is part of a Carolina coaching staff that has led the Panthers to playoff appearances in four of the past five seasons, making an appearance in Super Bowl 50 after the 2015 season.

In the 2017 season, the defensive line accounted for 40.0 of Carolina’s 50.0 sacks, ranking second among all NFL defensive lines in sack totals. Defensive ends Julius Peppers and Mario Addison each tallied 11 sacks to become the fifth pair of Panthers with double-digit sacks in the same season. The line also helped Carolina hold opponents to just 88.1 rushing yards per game, ranking third in the League. The 88.1 yards were the second-fewest allowed in a season in franchise history. Overall, the Panthers defense ranked seventh in total yards allowed in the NFL.

In 2016, under Washington's guidance, defensive end Mario Addison enjoyed a breakout season with a career-high and team-leading 9.5 sacks, while defensive tackles Kawann Short (6) and Star Lotulelei (4) combined for 10 sacks, tied for the fifth-most by a pair of defensive tackles in the league. Lotulelei earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his three-sack performance in Week 8 versus Arizona, joining Short as the only defensive tackles in franchise history to win a Defensive Player of the Week Award.

In 2015, Carolina ranked sixth in the NFL with 44 sacks, including 33.5 from the defensive line. The unit contributed to a defense that ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense, the fourth consecutive season the team fielded a top-10 defense, and also helped Carolina rank fourth in the NFL in rushing defense en route to winning the NFC Championship and advancing to Super Bowl 50.

Short earned his first Pro Bowl selection under Washington's tutelage, recording a Panthers' defensive tackle record 11 sacks, which tied for eighth in the NFL and first among defensive tackles. In his second season, defensive end Kony Ealy posted a sack in five consecutive regular season games and tied an NFL record with three sacks in the Super Bowl. Team captain Charles Johnson was slowed by injuries in the middle of the season but returned to start all three postseason games and notch three sacks. In all, 10 different defensive linemen notched at least one sack for Carolina.

In 2014, Washington's defensive line totaled 32.5 of the team's 40 sacks, including a team-leading 8.5 Johnson and four by all-rookie Ealy, as the Panthers ranked 10th in the NFL in total defense. In Carolina's 27-16 NFC Wild Card victory over Arizona, the defensive line gathered four sacks to help limit the Cardinals to an NFL postseason record 78 total net yards.

In 2013, the defensive line helped the Panthers rank second in the NFL in total defense, second in rushing defense and sixth in passing defense as 40 of the team's NFL-leading 60 sacks came from defensive linemen. Carolina recorded six or more sacks in four games, including a franchise-record nine at Atlanta. Johnson and defensive end Greg Hardy evolved into one of the best pass rushing duos in the NFL. Hardy tied a team record with 15 sacks to earn Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, while Johnson notched 11 sacks. From 2012-13, Hardy and Johnson combined for 49.5 sacks, tied for the most in the NFL, and were the only pair of teammates in the league with double-digit sacks both of those two years. Additionally, Lotulelei and Short earned all-rookie honors.

Washington's defensive line in 2012 helped the Panthers rank 10th in the NFL in total defense with as 37 of their 39 sacks coming from the defensive line. Johnson and Hardy became the first Panthers tandem to record double-digit sacks since 2002. Johnson led the team and ranked sixth in the NFL with 12.5 sacks in addition to forcing seven fumbles, the second most in the league, and Hardy posted 11 sacks. Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards registered a career-high six sacks after notching just 5.5 in his previous eight seasons.

In 2011, Washington was charged with mentoring a young group that started three different rookies at defensive tackle. The unit produced 25.5 of the team's 31 sacks, led by Johnson's team-high nine.

Washington joined Carolina after spending 2008-10 with the Chicago Bears. Elevated to defensive line coach in 2010, Washington presided over a group that accounted for 25 sacks and helped the Bears rank ninth in the NFL in total defense, second in rushing defense and fourth in scoring defense. Along the defensive line, he coached Pro Bowler Julius Peppers and end Israel Idonije, who tied for the team lead with eight sacks each.

Washington worked the previous two seasons as Chicago's defensive assistant/assistant defensive line coach. He gained his first professional coaching experience by twice participating in the NFL's Minority Internship Program, assisting with the Bears defensive line during training camp in 2005 and aiding the Atlanta Falcons' linebackers during training camp in 2004.

From 2004-07, Washington served as the defensive line coach at Northwestern. With the Wildcats, he coached several pro prospects. End Luis Castillo was selected in the first round by San Diego in 2005, and tackle Barry Cofield was chosen in the fourth round by the New York Giants in 2006. Washington also tutored end Corey Wootton, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Bears in 2010.

PLAYING AND PERSONAL
Washington played tight end at Grambling State from 1989-90 for legendary head coach Eddie Robinson and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Grambling State in 1993. Commissioned as a Naval Reserve Officer in 1998, Washington was assigned to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., where he served as the defensive coordinator of the football team for three years.

HISTORY
Tight end: Grambling State 1989-90. College coach: Texas A&M 1997, Ohio 2001-03, Northwestern 2004-07. Pro coach: Chicago Bears 2008-10, joined Panthers in 2011.