Defensive Line Coach: Eric Washington
Just like many current Bills players and coaches, Eric Washington is a part of the Carolina-Buffalo pipeline. Washington was defensive coordinator in Carolina for two seasons before joining Buffalo in 2020. In Washington’s first season here, the defensive line was largely underwhelming. Partly due to the poor first-year performance of AJ Epenesa and the opt-out of nose tackle Star Lotulelei. However, Washington has been touted as a great teacher by Sean McDermott.
Washington has been able to show this in the flashes that AJ Epenesa had. Epenesa was not able to have a normal rookie offseason due to Covid-19 and that clearly set him back early on. Washington was also a big reason that Buffalo drafted two defensive ends early on. McDermott and the Bills clearly have big faith in Washington.
Although he did work with a slightly makeshift defensive line in his first season in 2021, Washington has many more pieces to create a rotation. In fact, the Bills added so many players to the defensive line that last year’s leader in sacks Mario Addison may not even make the team. Washington will hopefully be able to put his successful season of coaching to work and help the Bills defensive line rebound after a disappointing 2020.
Assistant Defensive Line Coach: Jacques Cesaire
A former player for the San Diego Chargers, Jacques Cesaire was hired before the 2020 season just like Washington. Cesaire spent the five years before he was with Buffalo as an assistant defensive line coach for the University of San Diego. Cesaire brings 125 NFL games of experience to the table.
Cesaire’s ability to relate on a different level because of his experience (in the NFL) in their shoes. Cesaire is young into his coaching career but has big years ahead. The Bills have several young players on the defensive line whose contributions can really alter the outcome of the Bills season. If Cesaire can work with Washington and coach up these young players into really good NFL players, then the Bills will be in a really great spot.
If Frazier ends up getting a head coaching job after the 2021 season I would expect Washington to be next in line for the defensive coordinator position, and Cesaire to be a top candidate to take over for Washington.