CHARLOTTE -- Eric Washington, who has coached Carolina’s defensive line since 2011, has been promoted to defensive coordinator. Washington takes over for Steve Wilks, who was named head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.
With Carolina, Washington has led 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 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.
Washington joined Carolina after spending 2008-10 with the Chicago Bears. Elevated to defensive line coach in 2010, Washington spent his first two seasons in Chicago as the 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.
View photos of Carolina's new Defensive Coordinator Eric Washington.