Falcons safety Dwight Lowery is starting to fit into his new surroundings.
After missing most of last season because of a concussion and playing just three games with Jacksonville, Lowery is delighted to have an opportunity to win the starting free safety position with the Falcons.
He opened training camp working with the first-team defense and must hold off a challenge from rookie Dezmen Southward, the Falcons third-round draft pick out of Wisconsin.
“I’m very fortunate and blessed to be in a situation where I can compete for a starting position,” Lowery said. “The way to approach it is to try to get better every day. Just control the things that you can control. Just be the best teammate that you can, that’s what I’m trying to do every day.”
The Falcons need someone to replace Thomas DeCoud, who was released after struggling with his tackling last season.
Lowery is a fierce hitter and a solid tackler.
“In my opinion, part of tackling is running to the football,” Lowery said. “It helps when everybody is pursuing to the football. It makes the lanes a little bit more restrictive if you can just give the runner one way to go. Then you just want to get him to the ground at that point.”
Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has been stressing tackling for the entire unit.
“Any team that is going to be good on defense is going to tackle well,” Lowery said. “We are all going to tackle properly.”
The Falcons are playing are more multiple defensive front that can slide from a 5-2 to 3-4 or 4-3 based on the call or the offense’s personnel. That doesn’t change the responsibilities of the free safety much.
“I played in this type of defense before, my first couple of years in the league,” Lowery said. “It’s more of an attacking mentality on defense. I prefer that over a read-and-react defense. I think it’s a good fit.”
Lowery’s new teammates have embraced him.
“It seems like it’s going very well,” Lowery said. “Guys are communicating. When you do that on a defense, you know that you’re going to be successful.”