'Rave reviews' as camp breaks

Training camp officially came to an end Friday for the 49ers, even though the team began scaling back its workout schedule at the beginning of the week. General manager Terry Donahue claimed the franchise's first camp to take place at the team's year-round complex was a conclusive success, even though there were some things that could have been better.

When asked by SFI if the Niners leave training camp further along in progress than any other San Francisco team that he has been a part of since joining the organization in 1999, Donahue responded: "I think, unquestionably, I'd answer yes to that question if our health wasn't in the state it is right now. That (injuries) would affect how I would answer that question. In terms of the training, in terms of the teaching - in terms of those things - I would say we're further along."

On the final day of two-a-day sessions Wednesday, the Niners had 15 players miss practice due to injuries and another 22 limited by minor ailments.

Training camp - which was closed to the public - didn't feature the usual daily interaction between the players and the Niners' general fan base that could be seen in previous training camps at the University of the Pacific in Stockton - where the Niners trained the past five seasons - and Sierra College in Rocklin, where they trained the previous 17 summers before that.

But there could be little question camp went off much smoother for the Niners as far as getting done what they needed to do on and off the field and improving both individually and collectively as a team.

"It has got nothing but rave reviews, frankly, from players and coaches alike," Donahue said. "It's been great. There's been so many positives. I can't think of a single negative that we've had here other than some of the injuries that we've incurred here the last 10 days or so.

But, Donahue said, that has nothing to do with training camp. Injuries are a part of the game and, certainly, part of summer training.

"That is just what it is," Donahue said. "The training camp has been a very positive experience. I think the coaches did a great job in how they worked the team, in the way they practiced. I think we got an awful lot of teaching done. Long term, I believe this will help our team. We haven't taken our team to a point of exhaustion. I just think this has been a really good deal all the way around for us."

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