Marcio Jose Sanchez-AP

Marcio Jose Sanchez-AP



Aside from a toned-down non-padded version held on Wednesday, training camp practices under new San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan have been much more physical than those of his predecessors. Viewed as tougher than the practices of Chip Kelly, Jim Tomsula, and by some, even Jim Harbaugh, Shanahan has been working diligently to prepare his young team for the hard hits of actual games.

The 49ers will travel to Kansas City on Thursday afternoon for their Friday evening exhibition matchup against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The team now has 11 training camp practices under its belt with the final four taking place next week before camp breaks on August 17.

On Thursday, Shanahan took time out of his day to join the "Murph & Mac" show on KNBR to discuss his practice philosophy and the hard hitting during practices.

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"You're trying to train people to get ready to play football and that's really tough to do without playing football," Shanahan said. "You've got to be very smart about it. I know that's something we're not going to do a lot during the season. You're only allowed a certain amount of padded practices. Even when I'm allowed a padded practice, I don't plan on using pads for all of them. I might use them for certain drills.

"I believe in really taking care of the players throughout the season. So, when are you going to grind? The only time to do that is training camp so I think you've got to go pretty hard and sometimes you'll have to take two steps back before you take two steps forward. And it just keeps working like that to where the more you grind, to me, in camp, the less you have to do during the year.

"When you get into the year, your players are a lot more sore. It's a long season. It takes a while to recover after a Sunday game and you're not always going to have that opportunity to develop pad level and the type of standard that you have. Now is the only time to do it and, each day, it gets closer and closer to game time so I don't ever want to waste a day."

You can listen to the entire interview with Shanahan on KNBR.