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.