Torrey Smith admitted that things will be different for him in 2016. His mentor and pseudo big brother, Anquan Boldin, is now with the Detroit Lions.
The two reunited with the San Francisco 49ers in 2015 after previously spending two seasons together with the Baltimore Ravens (2011-12). Now Smith and Jerome Simpson are the most tenured veterans among the 12 receivers on the San Francisco 49ers roster.
"There's definitely a little more pressure," Smith told reporters upon reporting for training camp on Saturday. "Now there's just two of us, and there's more responsibility for us to share. I want to make sure I'm doing things the right way and lead by example."
Smith has gone on record multiple times to credit Boldin with teaching him how to be a pro. From work habits to on-field technique, Smith would shadow Boldin in every facet of being an NFL wide receiver.
Those lessons will now be put to good use as Smith attempts to utilize a similar leadership style with the 49ers in 2016.
"Anquan was so relaxed. He wasn't a man of many words, and when he spoke, you listened," Smith said. "He also led by example, which is kind of how I am, as well. I'm not really a rah-rah guy. It's easy to follow, and it's easy to respect someone who is doing the right thing."
So far, Smith doesn't anticipate the 49ers pass-catchers being a difficult group to inspire. He sees the group as a self-motivated bunch, hungry to prove themselves to the new coaching staff.
"Everyone works their tails off. That's not an issue," Smith said. "Everyone wants to do the right thing, and be great. Everyone has the talent, it's just about putting it together and going out there and doing it."
Each receiver is bought in to the offense that Chip Kelly has installed in San Francisco, and that starts with Smith. The sixth-year pro continued to be an advocate for the speed of the 49ers new offense and a believer that it will pay dividends this season.
"You're moving a lot. The tempo, once you get used to it, is definitely a competitive advantage," Smith said. "It's not like he's drawing up plays in the sand that are brand new, but the way he puts things together, from what I've seen, is awesome."
Smith also shared his appreciation for the training camp schedule that Kelly has implemented. Practices are scheduled early in the day in an effort to get players out before the sun sets at night.
In addition, Smith indicated that the 49ers won't always use all three hours of daily practice time allowed by the CBA. The team will have no problem getting their work in efficiently at the hyper-speed Kelly prefers.
"It looks like the best camp schedule I've ever been a part of. … With our tempo, we wouldn't make it to three hours," Smith joked.