Bears hire Mike Phair to coach defensive line

The Chicago Bears moved fast to fill their latest opening on the coaching staff, hiring Mike Phair to coach the defensive line.

Phair replaces Eric Washington, who departed earlier this week to coach the same position for Ron Rivera and the Carolina Panthers.

Phair comes to the Bears after spending the last six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, where he worked under Tim Ruskell, now the Bears’ director of personnel. Phair was a defensive assistant this past season and served as an assistant line coach in 2009 and an assistant linebackers coach in 2008. In the three years prior to coaching, he was an area scout under Ruskell. Phair also worked for three years in the college scouting department for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Ruskell was.

Coach Lovie Smith knows Phair well too. Phair was a starting linebacker at Arizona State when Smith was his position coach for the Sun Devils.

Bears secondary coach Jon Hoke interviewed to be the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles but that job went to Juan Castillo. With Hoke now expected to return to the Bears, the coaching staff is likely set.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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