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Bears assistant joins Panthers

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

The Carolina Panthers announced Monday that they have hired Eric Washington to be their defensive line coach.

Washington has been a Bears ­assistant for the last three seasons. He was the assistant defensive line coach until this past season, when he was promoted to defensive line coach when Rod Marinelli was bumped up to defensive coordinator. Before that, he spent four years in the same position at Northwestern.

Washington joins the staff of recently hired Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, a former Bears linebacker and defensive coordinator.

“Eric brings youth and experience to our staff and is a good fit to work with our young defensive line,” Rivera said in a statement released by the team. “He has coached on all levels of football, and we are pleased to have him on our staff.”

Meanwhile, reported that the Philadelphia Eagles have asked the Bears for permission to interview secondary coach Jon Hoke for their defensive coordinator position.

Hoke finished his second season as the Bears’ secondary coach. ­Before coming to Chicago, Hoke spent seven years coaching defensive backs for the Houston Texans. His brother, Brady, recently was hired as head coach at Michigan.

Neil Hayes

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