San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is making a big change involving defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.
Per ESPN’s Nick Wagoner, Shanahan has decided to have Wilks move down from the coaching booth and join him on the sidelines for Sunday’s Week 10 road game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“We’re going to put him on the field this week,” Shanahan said, per Wagoner. “(It’s) something we’ve talked about for a little bit…There are pluses to it and minuses to it, but we’ll see what we like about this week.”
The 49ers have lost three in a row, allowing an average of 24 points per game during the skid. The defense struggled mightily against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals at home back in Week 8, allowing 31 points and 400 yards of offense in a 14-point defeat.
The 49ers have allowed the 10th-fewest yards (315.0) and fourth-fewest points (17.5) per game. The main problems are in the secondary, as the usually stingy unit is surprisingly outside the top half against the pass (228.9 yards allowed per game).
San Francisco lost well-respected defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans after he took the Houston Texans’ head coaching position. Wilks, who finished 2022 as the interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers, was hired as the team’s new DC.
Granted, the 49ers also haven’t had the easiest slate of opponents since their 5-0 start. They lost to three winning teams in the Cleveland Browns (19-17), Minnesota Vikings (22-17) and the Bengals (31-17).
Fortunately for the 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks fell to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday to also fall to 5-3 on the year. The two clubs are tied for the top seed in the NFC North, and their first of two meetings will take place in Week 12.