<--Trivia: Without looking at the title of this post, do you know who that guy is? I'm wating....
Yeah, most other people don't, either.
That's Eric Washington, and he's the Defensive Line Coach for your Chicago Bears. "What's that?" you say. " I thought that Marinelli was the savior of the defensive line." Well, with his new role as Defensive Coordinator (or as some would [incorrectly] put it, Lovie's puppet), he's got some tasks to be delegating. Keeping that in mind, let's get our learn on and familiarize ourselves with a lesser known member of the Bears coaching staff.
Chicago Bears Coaching Profiles: Eric Washington
Washington is in his third year with the Bears, and his first in his current position. The past two years he has served as defensive assistant/assistant defensive line coach.
He's got a pretty solid coaching resume. Some highlights include:
- Defensive Line Coach at Northwestern University (link goes to the announcement in 2004)
- Defensive Line Coach at Ohio University
- Defensive Coordinator at Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, R.I.
- In addition to the coaching background Washington has put together, he also achieved the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade during his active Naval service.
Interesting note: in 2007 newly drafted Bears defensive end Corey Wootton played for Washington, and finished second on the team with 7.0 Tackles for loss and five pass deflections and second among defensive linemen with 39 tackles. (according to the official season recap.)
The real question comes when trying to determine the effect he could have this season. While many will view him as simply following the directions of Marinelli (perhaps deservedly so), he could really have the chance to do some standout things.
He's in charge of a unit that's going to have a lot of focus put on them this season. The addition of Julius Peppers alone would be enough to draw spotlight to the position. Don't forget to add into that mix that Tommie Harris needs to return to form, they need another tackle to step up and deliver, and there's a lot of pressure on Anderson and Idonije to live up to the solid, if unspectacular, performance of Alex Brown for the past several seasons.
So if there was a time for Washington to have a positive impact, now would be it. But will he just be a marionette dancing while Lovie and Rod pull his strings? We'll find out very soon....