The 49ers wrapped up a three-week practice session Thursday, and quarterback Alex Smith said the offense is further along than at similar stages his two previous seasons. "The last couple years at this point have just been installation," said Smith, who is preparing for his third NFL season. "Being in the same system again, we're so much further ahead. We've practiced different scenarios, the two-minute (drill), gotten in the (shot)gun, an empty backfield. We've gotten a lot more out of these practices and kind of put in some new things that will help for the season." Beyond the benefits of offensive continuity - Smith is operating the same scheme in back-to-back seasons for the first time with the 49ers - the level of competition team-wide has been heightened by the addition of a half-dozen free agents and another draft class. "You get a completely different sense out here than I've ever had with the Niners," Smith said. "Everyone is much more competitive. It makes practice that much more enjoyable and it makes everyone better."