49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks addressed with reporters his much discussed move from the coaching booth to the sideline beginning with Sunday's game at Jacksonville.
“I think we’re making a bigger deal out of it than it needs to be, to be honest. 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," Wilks said before 49ers practice on Thursday.
"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.”
Wilks was also asked if there is added significance for this weeks game given how poorly the 49ers performed during the three losses prior to the bye week.
“You know, I try to stay out of the past. When I say that, the obvious is the obvious, but dwelling on the past three weeks is not going to really change what we're trying to get done. And our focus been since we've been back it's just one at a time. Let's just go refocus ourselves to do what we’ve got to do to get this game. I think we know in the previous games we were there, we played hard. We’ve got to go execute. We’ve got to make plays when given the opportunity. I’ve got to do a better job again just putting them in better positions, which I think is going to help them go execute. But, third down has been hurting us. We’ve got to get off the field. We've had those guys in both games third and long, and all of a sudden, [Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe] Burrow great job of him being athletic, he gets out of it, third and long. Going back to Minnesota, opportunity to get off the field and we didn’t and just sort of spiraled right there with the first drive. So those are things that we have to correct.”
The 49ers are getting healthier as they head toward Sunday's game. Trent Williams returned to practice for the first time since injuring his ankle on October 15 in Cleveland. Williams was limited at Thursday's session. Deebo Samuel remains on track to return from a shoulder injury as he was a full participant for a second consecutive day.