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Panthers name Eric Washington new defensive coordinator

FILE - Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Vernon Butler, left, gets instruction from former defensive line coach Eric Washington during an NFL football practice in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, May 13, 2016. (Chuck Burton / Associated Press)
FILE - Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Vernon Butler, left, gets instruction from former defensive line coach Eric Washington during an NFL football practice in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, May 13, 2016. (Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Eric Washington has been named the Carolina Panthers new defensive coordinator. He will replace Steve Wilks, who was hired earlier Monday as the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

Washington has served as the Panthers defensive line coach for the past seven seasons. During that span the Panthers defensive line has recorded more sacks (219) than any team in the NFL.

Wilks’ departure, which coach Ron Rivera said he expected after the season, means the Panthers will have three new coordinators next season.

Rivera fired offensive coordinator Mike Shula two days after the season and replaced him with Norv Turner. Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey was replaced by former assistant coach Chase Blackburn. McGaughey’s contract was up and he wanted to pursue other options.


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