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Bears make coaching staff addition: UPDATED

Northwestern defensive line coach Eric Washington will be hired to the Bears coaching staff.

It’s not known exactly what role Washington will hold yet, but Lovie Smith has decided to add an assistant defensive line position to the staff, and interviewed candidates for the position this week.

Washington had a coaching internship with the team during the 2005 training camp. He has worked with linebackers in the past, and that position is vacant after Hardy Nickerson resigned earlier in the week for family reasons.

Lloyd Lee, an assistant for the last four seasons, is believed to be a candidate to replace Nickerson. Lee worked with nickel backs primarily this last season, but handled duties under Bob Babich with the linebackers in 2006. Lee turned down an opportunity to interview in Buffalo to be the linebackers coach there two years ago.

Lee had an in there with Perry Fewell, who had left the Bears to run the Bills defense for Dick Jauron.

UPDATE 7:32 P.M.: A team source confirmed that Washington will be hired for a newly created position as an assistant defensive line coach.

That leaves the vacant linebackers position left to fill.