San Francisco 49ers

Chip Kelly’s training camp schedule draws ... praise?

49ers receiver celebrates after catching a game-winning touchdown in Chicago last year.
49ers receiver celebrates after catching a game-winning touchdown in Chicago last year. AP

SANTA CLARA -- Chip Kelly may have a reputation for grueling practices -- just ask the still-grumbling Eagles -- but the 49ers like what they see from their coach's training-camp plans.

"It looks like the best camp schedule I've been a part of," receiver Torrey Smith said.

Safety Antoine Bethea had a similar assessment. "Might be the best since I've been in the league," he said. "Just his approach of tough days and then toning it down after that."

The bulk of the practices begin at 10:25 a.m., which is earlier than most camps. Bethea said that's because the 49ers have four games this year -- at Carolina, Buffalo, Miami and Chicago -- in which the kickoff occurs at 10 a.m. PST.

"Start practicing now at 10 o'clock, and when those games come it won't be a surprise to us," he said.

The 49ers went 1-4 in their 10 a.m. games last year with their only victory a 26-20 overtime win against Chicago.

Kelly's practice routine, meanwhile, continues to draw a chorus of complaints out of Philadelphia. Earlier in the week, Eagles offensive tackle Jason Peters largely attributed his declining performance last year to the stress Kelly put on his players.

"I just didn't feel I got enough rest last year," he said. "It just caught up to me. I'm going to try to prevent that this year."

The 49ers players said they may have a different opinion of Kelly's training camp once practices get underway. But from looking at the schedule, it seems as if their coach has varied longer sessions with shorter ones.

"If there are issues, he's a guy we can talk to about it," Smith said. "It's not like he's been a brick wall or someone we feel we can't talk to about issues. He's been very open to us. He's a big communications guy. We've been able to have a lot of open dialogue with him, specially the older guys."

Added Smith: "I mean, we actually get to see daylight when we get out. So that's going to be another cool thing."

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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