Steve Wilks

Wilks flashes ‘flawless' communication in 49ers' win over Jaguars

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The 49ers' defense rediscovered its early season form during San Francisco's 34-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Everbank Stadium.

Steve Wilks' decision to coach from the sideline rather than the booth was well-received by the players, including Fred Warner, who cited how effective the communication was between his teammates and their defensive coordinator.

"It was good, it was good having him down there, and the communication was flawless," Warner told reporters after the game.

When asked about differences in the ability to communicate with Wilks on the sideline rather than in the booth, Warner explained that the priority remained focused on ensuring the communication via headset was seamless.

"I think it was pretty similar, honestly," Warner shared. "I think the thing was just kind of like … just going into it we wanted to make sure the communication was good in terms of the microphone. Him [Wilks] getting the calls to me, and I thought he did a good job."

Arik Armstead also complimented Wilks' presence on the sideline, citing the impact his defensive coordinator's energy had on the defensive players throughout the game.

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

Kyle Shanahan was a bit more light-hearted in his evaluation of Wilks moving down to the field from the booth while making it clear he enjoyed being in closer proximity to his defensive coordinator during the game.

"I mean, I ran into him a couple more times," Shanahan quipped. "I mean, I hear his voice wherever he is. So I mean, I enjoy him down there. I'll ask the players how they thought, excited to talk to Steve on the plane [and] see what he felt. Again, that's nothing against you guys or anything. But just, I've been coaching a long time, and I think that's one of the most overrated things in the world. But hey, I enjoyed him down there today."

After a stretch of three games that saw the 49ers' defense look uncharacteristically vulnerable, they sent a resounding message to the rest of the league by suffocating the Jaguars' potent offense.

Jacksonville was held out of the end zone, recording just 221 yards, while San Francisco's defense tied a season-high by forcing four turnovers.

How much of the defense's success can be directly traced to Wilks moving to the field is uncertain, but the small sample size is encouraging.

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