Steve Wilks

Wilks, 49ers players agree coaching location blown out of proportion

NBC Universal, Inc.

SANTA CLARA — Steve Wilks will coach from the sideline on Sunday for the club’s Week 10 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the first time since being named the 49ers' defensive coordinator.

Wilks is the successor to two defensive coordinators who were very active on the sideline on gamedays — DeMeco Ryans, who is now the head coach for the Houston Texans, and New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh.

Dre Greenlaw regularly took advantage of Ryans being on the sidelines along with Fred Warner, but Greenlaw believes that was a unique situation with the three of them having played the same position. The fifth-year linebacker agrees with Wilks that the coordinator’s location is not important.

“With Meco, it was a unique situation,” Greenlaw told NBC Sports Bay Area. “It was like a brain trust with all three of us together. To be honest, [Wilks' location] is only because of the losses. It’s not that big of a deal.”

While the long-time secondary coach believes being on the field level will ease communication with his players and coaches, Wilks indicated the move is being made into a more significant issue than it really is.

“To me, just very candid, I think we are making a bigger deal out of it than it needs to be, to be honest,” Wilks said. “I just want to be able to communicate with the guys a little bit more during the game. Certain things I’m seeing, I’d rather be able to talk to them directly, than communicate with coaches.”

Javon Hargrave is in his first season with the club but shared that he rarely, if ever, has spoken to his defensive coordinator during a game. Since being a member of the 49ers' defensive front, the defensive tackle gets everything he needs from his position coach Kris Kocurek.

“I don’t really go up to them, unless they say something first,” Hargrave told NBC Sports Bay Area. “It’s just us losing. Nobody made any noise about it the first five weeks. I don’t really think it’s that big of a deal. I’ve never really paid them much mind with Kris here.”

Wilks believes that there haven’t been any issues with communication with his position coaches thus far but being on the field will facilitate being able to get input from both players and coaches.

“It’s just a great opportunity for me to be able to look at certain things on the Surface and then go directly to that guy and say this is what I’m seeing,” Wilks said. “And then we can have that dialogue, communicate and talk. I like to also know how they are seeing things in the flow of the game which will allow me to call things a little differently.” 

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us