49ers news: Steve Wilks talks about vacating booth, Trent Williams back at practice

The 49ers are hoping that Steve Wilks' move from the booth down to the sideline is a productive one, and the defensive coordinator elaborated on it Thursday.

Plus, the Niners' best offensive lineman is back at practice.

Carolina Panthers head coach Steve Wilks
Carolina Panthers head coach Steve Wilks / Jane Gershovich/GettyImages

The 49ers have some notable news the Friday before their Week 10 road game against the Jaguars.

"I think we’re making a bigger deal out of it than it needs to be, to be honest."

Those were the words uttered by San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks when he spoke to reporters from Thursday's practice session after the team's bye week and before a Week 10 road game against the 6-2 Jacksonville Jaguars.

Wilks, of course, is talking about the conversation surrounding the decision to move him from the booth on game day down onto the field, which was part of the discussion Wilks had with head coach Kyle Shanahan in the wake of a three-game losing streak.

One that has visibly seen the Niners' star-studded defense take a massive step backward.

Wilks' response to being asked about the move echo some of San Francisco's players, including cornerback Charvarius Ward, who felt where Wilks was calling plays didn't matter.

But, with the 49ers trying to bounce back after their Week 9 bye, changing things up has to be part of the equation.

Steve Wilks says communication on 49ers sideline is reason for move

Elaborating on why he's moving from the booth and down onto the field, Wilks offered the following response:

"I just want to be able to communicate with the guys a little bit more during the game. Certain things that I’m seeing, I’d rather be able to talk to them directly than to communicate with coaches. I think our coaches do a great job, number one, throughout the week, but also in-game adjustments.

That’s one of the things that I’ve really pride ourselves on and how we communicate as a staff and making the right things throughout the game. So, it is just really with me just wanting to be able to communicate with those guys a little bit more."

When asked about whether or not he'll get too emotional on the sidelines, Wilks added that "it’s more or less in the communication part" that matters and not so much whether or not coaches and players negatively feed off each other.

For now, it appears to be a one-game trial for Wilks, who is still learning the Niners defense he inherited, not calling his own from prior years as a coordinator and head coach.

Trent Williams is back at 49ers practice, still might not play Week 10

Another bonus of the bye week is the added rest and recovery for some of San Francisco's injured players.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel (shoulder) made his return to practice Wednesday after a two-game absence, while left tackle Trent Williams (ankle) returned on Thursday.

Shanahan had told reporters on Monday that Williams was battling through the ankle issue that had become something of a chronic problem over the years, and it wasn't totally clear yet if the perennial Pro Bowler would be able to play in Week 10.

During Williams' absence over the last two games, swing tackle Jaylon Moore has been the fill-in option but hasn't played anywhere close to Williams' level.

Being back at practice, however, is an excellent sign, although it'll be much more provocative to see the 49ers' final injury report after Friday's practice session before the team departs to north Florida to take on the Jags this Sunday.

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