WRs Jones, White return to Falcons' workouts

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons had their vaunted wide receiver tandem of Roddy White and Julio Jones on the practice field Tuesday for the first time since both had to take time away from the team to deal with family emergencies.

White had missed the previous six Organized Team Activity (OTA) sessions following the shooting death of his half-brother, Tyrone Moore Jr., while Jones' brother, Phillip, was the victim of a shooting.

Both were back, but Jones worked off to the side while he continues to recovery from foot surgery.

"I feel very confident in everything that I'm going through and with what I'm doing as far as what (trainer) Marty (Lauzon) has going for me," Jones said. "They are not going to put me in (a bad) situation or rush me back or do anything that's going to hurt me."

White chatted briefly with head coach Mike Smith before heading to the practice field. Several players came over to welcome him back.

"It's was nice to see Roddy back out," Smith said. "He's been through a lot through the last three or four weeks. He and his family. It was good for him to be with his football family today. He looked great."

White appeared to be his jovial self throughout the workout, but is not scheduled to speak to the media until next Tuesday during minicamp.

White battled through a high ankle sprain last season before getting healthy late in the season. He rarely practiced.

If the Falcons are going to recover from last season's 4-12 debacle, Jones and White must have strong bounce-back seasons.

While they were out, Jones believes the team developed some depth at the position.

"I'm very proud of Harry (Douglas) and for Darius Johnson with the way they stepped up," Jones said. "(Quarterback) Matt (Ryan) just had to hold the ball a little longer because he was accustomed to me and Roddy getting off the ball and getting open right away. Those guys were never put in that situation. Eventually, they got going and Harry had 1,000 yards. Darius came around and Drew Davis did pretty good."

Jones had the fifth-year option on his rookie contract picked up this offseason and expects to sign a long-term contract before his deal expires. He doesn't expect, and is not angling, to reach free agency.

"They want me here," Jones said. "I want to be here for the remainder of my career."

White also wants a new contract that would allow him to play at least three more seasons.

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