Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/28/12

The 49ers enter training camp next month in a role completely reversed from where the franchise was last summer.

When the lockout lifted last July, the team was waiting to install new offensive and defensive systems and waiting for a college coach, in Jim Harbaugh, to take over.

The results -- a surprise 13-3 season, NFC West title and a fumbled punt from appearing in the Super Bowl -- were something no one predicted. They've also changed the outlook for the team, inside and outside the organization.

They come into the season as the most tested team in their division, but they are also saddled with sky-rocketing expectations with many prognosticators predicting a Super Bowl appearance.

Harbaugh has answered such questions with one of his stock responses.

"We're just trying to figure out a way to win our next game, and that will be against the Green Bay Packers (in the opener)," he said. "Our expectations are day-to-day. Trying to find ways to get a mile an hour faster."

Harbaugh continued to emphasize conditioning in the offseason program. He had his team sweat through 12-hour days and three-hour practices. Safety Donte Whitner predicted that few teams ran as many plays as the 49ers did during organized team activity practices this offseason.

The 49ers often ran two practices in one, with the defense running drills against each other on one field and the offense doing the same on another field. It allowed offensive coordinator Greg Roman to run through his entire offense four times and Roman will concentrate on refinements and additions once the team hits training camp.

Harbaugh also believes his team has an advantage in their training camp preparation. All four of their quarterbacks have experience within his offense and are talented enough to run an NFL offense. It means they rarely suffer mental mistakes on any play. This provides the team with a high percentage of quality reps every practice.

Secondly, Harbaugh said that his team is young enough and in good enough condition to run more plays in a given practice than an older, less-conditioned team.

"This team, we look at it as a young team, it's a young athletic team," Harbaugh said. "I don't know if there's too many teams that can come out and practice the way this team practices every day and your goal is to just bottle that."

The 49ers also have the advantage of returning nearly all of their starters. On defense, all 11 starters are back on a unit that yielded the second-fewest points in the league and established a smashmouth swagger.

On offense, the team will have a new right guard, which is likely to be Alex Boone. And at wide receiver, the 49ers are likely to start Randy Moss over Joshua Morgan, who signed a free agent deal with his hometown Redskins.

But more than anything, Harbaugh is counting on his belief that continuity and preparation matter.

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