Kyle Shanahan, 49ers appreciated Steve Wilks’ sideline presence in win vs. Jaguars

Nov 12, 2023 at 3:19 PM--

The relocation of San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks from the coaching box to the sidelines during Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars garnered significant attention. Maybe too much attention.

Following the team's impressive 34-3 road victory, head coach Kyle Shanahan shared his thoughts on having Wilks closer to the players and coaching staff.

"I ran into him a couple more times," Shanahan responded. "I hear his voice wherever he is, so I enjoy him down there. I'll ask the players how they thought."

With the 49ers breaking their three-game losing streak and securing their first win in over a month, Wilks' sideline move could become a permanent adjustment.

"I'm excited to talk to Steve on the plane and see what he felt, but again, that's nothing against you guys or anything, but I've been coaching a long time, and I think that's one of the most overrated things in the world," Shanahan admitted. "But I enjoyed him down there today."

Wilks will offer his official perspective on Thursday, during the coach's regular weekly press conference. However, players, including Fred Warner, have already expressed positive sentiments about Wilks's closer proximity. The star linebacker even playfully suggested that the change might have solved the 49ers' defensive woes over the past few weeks.

Warner added, "It was good. It was good having him down there. And the communication was flawless. And, yeah, it was good having him down there."

Despite being described as "flawless," Warner didn't mean to suggest that there were communication issues while Wilks was in the coaching box.

"I think it was pretty similar, honestly," the linebacker said. "I think the thing was just kind of like us, going into it, we wanted to make sure the communication was good in terms of the microphone, him getting the calls to me, and I thought he did a great job. ... I think he did a great job being down there today."

Defensive tackle Arik Armstead felt the positive energy Wilks brought to the sideline, which was a welcome addition.

"He came up to us, congratulated us on some plays, and that voice is telling us to keep going and don't let up," Armstead shared. "So, yeah, I definitely felt him on the sideline."

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