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In free agency, Atlanta signed veterans Tyson Jackson, a fifth-year starting end from Kansas City, and seventh-year tackle Paul Soliai from Miami. Free safety Dwight Lowery, a sixth-year veteran from Jacksonville, was added, too.

Early in the draft, the Falcons picked Dezmen Southward to compete with Lowery and Ra’Shede Hageman to compete with Jackson. Later-round picks Prince Shembo and Yawin Smallwood were added to the mix at linebacker, where Sean Weatherspoon will start at one inside spot and the other will likely be decided between Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu.

But as to how and where personnel line up will depend on what play the Falcons call as it relates to an offensive formation.

“I can assure you this,” Smith said. “Everyone’s been talking about 3-4, 4-3. We’re going to be an 11-man defense. I can promise you that. Where they’re going to line up and how they’re going to line up is going to be very flexible and very fluid in how we’re going to do it.”

Notes: WR Julio Jones, still recovering from foot surgery, did some running and cutting on the field while the team worked out. The former Pro Bowl selection led the NFL with 41 catches and ranked second in yards receiving when he was injured against the New York Jets last Oct. 7. … Smith said that WR Roddy White will return to the voluntary practice sessions in a few days. White is spending extra time with his family following the death of his brother two weeks ago. … Smith said that OT Lamar Holmes is missing time, too, because of a family death.


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