SANTA CLARA – Two days after getting crushed 45-16 in Buffalo on Oct. 16, the 49ers practiced in silence — the part of practice open to the media.
The only people on the field who spoke above a whisper were running backs coach Tom Rathman and special teams coach Derius Swinton II. When those two didn’t talk, practice felt like a funeral.
Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins stood by himself with his hands in his pockets. He seemed lost. Most of the players breezed through stretches and warmups like they were in P.E. class and their teacher wasn’t watching them.
That’s because the man in charge of practice wasn’t watching them. Chip Kelly spent the first 20 minutes talking to Phil Dawson, the kicker.
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