Steve Wilks booted from booth, will call plays from 49ers sideline instead

Never before (at least in our memory) has so much been made about the difference between coordinating from the booth and coordinating from the field...

Until now.

Steve Wilks
Steve Wilks / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

Kyle Shanahan told reporters that Steve Wilks won't be calling plays from the booth this Sunday against the Jaguars but will be down on the field instead.

If you had "controversy between calling plays from the booth or from the field" as one of the items on your San Francisco 49ers bingo card, congratulations.

The recent string of events surrounding defensive coordinator Steve Wilks hopefully helped you win your annual Niners bingo challenge.

Wilks, who has been under increased scrutiny amid San Francisco's three-game losing streak and in the wake of what's been viewed as a massive defensive regression despite a plethora of talent, elected to perform his gameday duties from up in the booth, not down on the field as his two predecessors under head coach Kyle Shanahan had done, Robert Saleh and DeMeco Ryans.

While it might not seem like it's a big deal, as many of the 49ers' defensive players have said, the fact it has become a topic means that it's crucial enough.

Even to the point where Shanahan felt he needed to speak on it with Wilks privately.

On Wednesday, Shanahan provided clarity for what's going to happen next.

Steve Wilks will move down from booth for 49ers vs. Jaguars

With a bye week in the rearview mirror, Shanahan announced a minor (but notable) change ahead of the 49ers' Week 10 road bout against the 6-2 Jacksonville Jaguars, winners of five consecutive games.

Wilks will not be up in the booth for this contest. No, instead, he's going to be heading down to the field to call plays, as Shanahan pointed out to reporters.

"We're going to put him on that field this week, something we've talked about for a little bit," Shanahan said of Wilks. "I think there are pluses to it and minuses to it, but we'll see what we like about this week."

Read more: Kyle Shanahan calls out Steve Wilks, is 49ers coordinator on the hot seat?

It doesn't sound like it's a permanent move, and it might solely be aimed to help turn around many of the Niners' recent defensive woes, if for no other reason than to have Wilks available for some immediate coaching with his players.

Shanahan mentioned something similar in that regard.

"I kind of want him to be down and be near our players a little bit," the head coach continued. "They've had that more just with the linebacker communication in the past, and I want him to be down there so he can talk to guys a little bit more."

Whether or not it makes a difference is anyone's guess, but as linebacker Fred Warner pointed out, it's ultimately up to the players to execute.

Wilks being closer to them, however, might help.

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