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Update on Bears Coaching Staff

After winning the NFC North, Bears coach Lovie Smith said he hoped some of his assistant coaches would be in line for promotions.

Eric Washington headed to the Carolina Panthers, to become the defensive line coach. While it appears a lateral move, since he held the same title with the Bears, it’s a promotion, in a sense, because Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli takes a hands on approach with defensive linemen.

In addition, Bears defensive backs coach Jon Hoke interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator job on Monday. But the Eagles are believed to be waiting to interview at least one Green Bay Packers defensive assistant for that vacancy. If he doesn’t get the job, Hoke is likely to return to the Bears.

The Bears, though, are in relatively good shape. Smith, coordinators Rod Marinelli, Dave Toub and Mike Martz are all under contract through the 2011 season, and so is offensive line coach Mike Tice.

Meanwhile, it’s believed the Bears are already closing in on a replacement for Washington, and it may become official within the next 10 days or so.