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Falcons’ Smith faces difficult rebuilding task in first camp

Atlanta Falcons' Kyle Pitts, center, runs drills during an NFL football rookie minicamp on...
Atlanta Falcons' Kyle Pitts, center, runs drills during an NFL football rookie minicamp on Friday, May 14, 2021, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)(Brynn Anderson | AP)
Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 5:09 PM EDT
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(AP) - New Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith is taking a long to-do list into his first training camp. He’s looking to develop new starters at running back and center while almost totally revamping the secondary.

First-round draft pick Kyle Pitts must be watched carefully as he is expected to win a starting job. Finally, a new backup for 36-year-old quarterback Matt Ryan must be found. The Falcons are coming off a 4-12 season.

The offseason trade of wide receiver Julio Jones to Tennessee for draft picks helped to define the team’s commitment to rebuilding under Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot.

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