Carolina Panthers promote Eric Washington to DC

With Steve Wilks leaving Carolina for the Arizona Cardinals' head coaching job, the Panthers wasted no time in naming their new defensive coordinator.

Eric Washington, who has served as the Panthers' defensive line coach since 2011, was promoted to defensive coordinator by the team Monday. The move was anticipated -- NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday morning Washington was expected to nab Wilks' old job.

Washington has built a reputation as one of the league's more accomplished defensive line coaches over the last seven seasons. Since 2012, the Panthers defensive linemen have produced an NFL-best 280 total sacks. The Panthers have finished in the top 10 in sacks in five of the past six seasons -- and were the league's top-ranked unit in 2013.

As part of a coaching staff that has helped guide the Panthers to playoff berths in four of the past five seasons, Washington will be tasked at trying to replicate the strong reputation Wilks has built in his one season running the defense. The Panthers have fielded a top-10 defense in five of the last six seasons, finishing 2017 ranked seventh in overall defense (317.1 yards per game).