San Francisco 49ers v Minnesota Vikings
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This is a defense that is used to seeing their coordinator full of energy on the sidelines.

During the 49ers bye week, Kyle Shanahan said that he’d have a discussion with Steve Wilks about moving from the coach’s booth down to the sidelines.

Shanahan revealed the plan for Wilks on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars when speaking to the media Wednesday afternoon:

“We’re gonna put him on the field this week. It’s something we’ve talked about for a little bit. There’s pluses to it and minuses to it. But we’ll see what we like about it this week.”

When asked what his personal preference would be, Shanahan went against the grain:

“I like being in the box. I feel like you guys would judge me for it too hard if I went up there. If it ever gets cold enough, I might be. You get a chair and a desk and a lot of stuff to write down.”

Shanahan said before coaching the 49ers that he had coached on the sidelines for eight years compared to just one in the booth.

When asked why move Wilks now, Shanahan sounded like he wants Wilks to be more hands on, which was the case for his previous two coordinators:

“Just because some of the stuff you do up in the box, you know all of the advantages to it, which are great. But I kinda wanted him to be down near our players a little bit.

They’ve had that more, just with the linebacker communication in the past. I want him to be down there, so he can talk to guys more.”

This is a defense that feeds off energy. Robert Saleh coached with his heart on his sleeves from the sidelines while DeMeco Ryans coined the term “energy vampires.” Wilks moving to the sidelines may be just as much about the players and their ability to communicate than it is his.

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