Doug Atkins

Douglas Leon Atkins (May 8, 1930 – December 30, 2015) was an American football defensive end who played for the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans Saints in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Tennessee under legendary head coach Robert Neyland. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Atkins was a fierce defender who was known for using his immense size and agility to his advantage. At 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m), Atkins often batted passes down at the line of scrimmage and used his skills as a high jump champion to leapfrog blockers and get to the quarterback. Atkins was one of the first great exclusively defensive players in professional football and, along with fellow Hall of Famer Gino Marchetti, revolutionized the defensive end position.

Doug Atkins
refer to caption
Atkins on a 1954 Bowman football card
No. 81, 91
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born:May 8, 1930
Humboldt, Tennessee
Died:December 30, 2015 (aged 85)
Knoxville, Tennessee
Height:6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Weight:257 lb (117 kg)
Career information
High school:Humboldt (TN)
NFL Draft:1953 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:205
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Amateur career

Atkins was born May 8, 1930, in Humboldt, Tennessee.[1] He attended Humboldt High School and played for the school's basketball team, which won the state championship in 1949 with an undefeated record.[2] He enrolled at the University of Tennessee to play for the Tennessee Volunteers of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) on a basketball scholarship, but once American football head coach Bob Neyland saw his combination of size and agility, he was recruited for the football team.[3] Atkins played on the 1951 Tennessee Volunteers football team that won the national championship.[2] He earned All-America honors in 1952. Atkins is one of the few players in Tennessee history to have his number retired. He was considered one of the, if not the, most dominant defensive players in SEC history. Atkins was the only unanimous selection to the SEC All Quarter-Century team and was selected as the overall SEC "Player of the Quarter-Century" for the years 1950 to 1975.[4] At Tennessee, Atkins also lettered in three seasons in track and field[5] and one season in basketball.[6] He finished runner-up in the high jump at the 1952 Southeastern Conference championships with a mark of 6' 6" (1.98m) which placed him 25th in the world that year.[7][8]

Professional career

The Cleveland Browns selected Atkins with the 11th overall selection in the 1953 NFL draft.[9] He played his first two seasons in the NFL with the Browns, winning the NFL Eastern Conference in 1953, and the NFL Championship in 1954.[10] The Browns traded Atkins and Ken Gorgal to the Chicago Bears for a third-round and a sixth-round pick in the 1956 NFL draft.[11][12] In Chicago, Atkins quickly became the leader of a devastating defensive unit. With the Bears, Atkins was a First Team All-Pro selection in 1958, 1960, 1961, and 1963, along with being a starter in the Pro Bowl in eight of his last nine years with Chicago.[13]

At the 1966 Pro Bowl, Atkins announced his retirement from football. He changed his mind and signed with the Bears for the 1966 season.[14] Before the 1967 season, Atkins requested a trade from Chicago and was traded to the New Orleans Saints. He suffered a fractured knee cap during the 1968 season.[15] He retired after the 1969 season. On the final play of his NFL career, Atkins sacked Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dick Shiner, preserving the Saints' 27–24 victory in the 1969 season finale.[16]


Atkins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985.[17] He has also been inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. His collegiate jersey number, #91, was retired by the University of Tennessee in 2005.

Even though he only played three seasons for New Orleans, the club retired his #81,[18] one of two numbers originally retired by the franchise. The other, #31, belongs to Hall of Fame fullback Jim Taylor, a long-time rival of Atkins during Taylor's days with the Green Bay Packers.

The NFL Network ranked him as the number 9 Pass Rusher of All Time in its Top Ten show.[19]

Personal life

Atkins married twice. His first wife was from Humboldt, and he married his second wife, from Milan, Tennessee, after the death of his first wife.[2] After he retired from the NFL, Atkins worked in various jobs, including as an exterminator, as a pipe system manager, and selling caskets to funeral homes.[20]

Atkins died of natural causes at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, on December 30, 2015, at the age of 85.[21] He was survived by his wife, brother, and 3 sons.[2]


  1. ^ Schudel, Matt (December 30, 2015). "Doug Atkins, intimidating Hall of Fame defensive end, dies at 85". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "UT, Humboldt football legend Doug Atkins dies". The Jackson Sun. December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  3. ^ "Doug Atkins, intimidating Hall of Fame pass rusher, dies at 85 - ProFootballTalk". Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  4. ^ TEGNA. "Vol legend Doug Atkins dies at 85". WBIR. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Southeastern Conference". Track & Field News. June 1952. ISSN 0041-0284.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Hall of Fame defensive end Doug Atkins dies at 85". Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  10. ^ "UT great, NFL Hall of Famer Doug Atkins dies at 85". The Tennessean. December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  11. ^ "Doug Atkins, Feared Pass-Rusher, Dies at 85". The New York Times. December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  12. ^ "Ranking the best and worst trades in Cleveland sports history". Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  13. ^ "Tennessee Vols football legend Doug Atkins passes away". GoVols247. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  14. ^ "Daytona Beach Morning Journal – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  15. ^ "Gettysburg Times – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  16. ^ Ron Clements. "Pro Football Hall of Famer Doug Atkins dead at 85". Sporting News. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  17. ^ "Doug Atkins, Hall of Famer, original Saint, dies at 85". Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  18. ^ "The Tuscaloosa News – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  19. ^ "Top Ten Pass Rushers: Doug Atkins". Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  20. ^ "The Victoria Advocate - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  21. ^ Rucker, Wes (December 30, 2015). "Tennessee legend Doug Atkins passes away". Retrieved December 30, 2015.

External links

1951 All-SEC football team

The 1951 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1951 college football season. Georgia Tech and Tennessee shared the conference title. The Associated Press selection had two platoons.

1952 All-SEC football team

The 1952 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1952 college football season. Georgia Tech won the conference.

1957 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), New York Daily News (NYDN), The Sporting News (SN), and United Press (UP) were among selectors of All-Pro teams comprising players adjudged to be the best at each position in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1957 NFL season. The AP, NEA, NYDN, and UPI selected a first and second team.

1958 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), New York Daily News (NYDN), The Sporting News (SN), and United Press International (UPI) selected All-Pro teams comprising their selections of the best players at each position in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1958 NFL season.

1959 Pro Bowl

The 1959 Pro Bowl was the NFL's ninth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1958 season. The game was played on January 11, 1959, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 72,250 fans. The final score was East 28, West 21.The West team was led by the Baltimore Colts' Weeb Ewbank while Jim Lee Howell of the New York Giants coached the East squad. New York Giants quarterback Frank Gifford was selected as the outstanding back of the game and defensive lineman Doug Atkins of the Chicago Bears was named the outstanding lineman.

1960 All-Pro Team

Selectors of All-Pros for the 1960 National Football League season included the Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), New York Daily News (NYDN), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and The Sporting News (SN).

1961 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), Pro Football Illustrated (PFI), New York Daily News (NYDN), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and Sporting News (SN) were among selectors of All-Pros for the 1961 National Football League season.

1962 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in 1962. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

1962 Chicago Bears season

The 1962 Chicago Bears season was their 43rd regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 9–5 record, earning them a third-place finish in the NFL Western Conference.

1963 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press National Football League's All-Pro Team in 1963.

Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

1963 Chicago Bears season

The 1963 Chicago Bears season was their 44th regular season and 12th post-season appearance in the National Football League. The club posted an 11–1–2 record to gain their first Western Conference championship since 1956, and the berth to host the NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants (11–3–0).

In the regular season, Chicago defeated the rival Green Bay Packers (11–2–1) twice to deny them a third consecutive NFL title; the Packers had won the previous five meetings with Chicago. In the championship game on December 29, the Bears defeated the Giants 14–10 at Wrigley Field for the club's eighth league title, their first since 1946 and the last under legendary head coach and founder George Halas.

This was the Bears' last playoff berth prior to the AFL-NFL merger, and their last NFL championship until 1985 and Super Bowl XX. The Bears' defense in 1963 was the third in history to lead the NFL in fewest rushing yards, fewest passing yards, and fewest total yards; the defense also allowed only 144 points, formerly an NFL record.In 2007, ranked the 1963 Bears as the ninth-greatest defense in NFL history, noting, "[i]n 1963, Bears defensive coach George Allen came up with a new zone defense against the pass, befuddling opponents. With Doug Atkins and Ed O'Bradovich pressuring opposing QBs from their defensive end slots, and Bill George and Larry Morris defending against short passes from the linebacker position, the Bears picked off 36 passes, and allowed just 10.3 points and 227 yards per game. The Bears went on to win the NFL championship, thanks to the Defense. In the title game against Y. A. Tittle and the Giants, who had the best offense in the NFL, Chicago's five picks were the key, as the Bears won 14–10. George Allen got the game ball."

1965 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of National Football League (American football) players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in 1965. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

1968 New Orleans Saints season

The 1968 New Orleans Saints season was the team's second as a member of the National Football League (NFL). They improved on their previous season's output of 3–11, winning four games. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second consecutive season, and finished third in the Century Division of the NFL Eastern Conference.

Atkins (surname)

Atkins is a surname of English origin. At the time of the British Census of 1881, its frequency was highest in Buckinghamshire (6.0 times the British average), followed by Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Rutland, Kent, Dorset, Norfolk, and Berkshire. Atkins may refer to:

Al Atkins (born 1947), British singer

Anna Atkins (1799–1871), British pioneer of photography

Barry K. Atkins (1911–2005), American admiral

B. T. S. Atkins (Sue Atkins) (born ~1940), British lexicographer

Brett Atkins (born 1964), Australian rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 1990s

Charlotte Atkins (born 1950), United Kingdom Member of Parliament

Chet Atkins (1924–2001), guitarist and record producer

Cholly Atkins (1913–2003), American choreographer for Motown artists

Christopher Atkins (born 1961), American actor

Chucky Atkins (born 1974), NBA basketball player

C. Clyde Atkins (1914–1999), American judge

Colin Atkins, Canadian politician

Coral Atkins (1936–2016), British actress

David Atkins (born 1955), Australian stage director

Doug Atkins (1930–2015), American football player

Eileen Atkins (born 1934), English actress

Ernest Atkins (1890–1972), Australian Rules footballer

Essence Atkins (born 1972), American actress

Frances Atkins, British chef

Garrett Atkins (born 1979), American baseball player

Gary Atkins (born 1969), rugby league footballer

Geno Atkins (born 1988), NFL football player

Henry Atkins (disambiguation)

Humphrey Atkins (1922–1996), British politician

Ian Atkins (born 1957), English footballer

Sir Ivor Atkins (1869–1953), Welsh choirmaster

Jeffrey Atkins (born 1976), American rapper Ja Rule

Joe Atkins (born 1965), Minnesota State Representative

John F. Atkins, Irish scientist

John Atkins (American football) (born 1992), American football player

Juan Atkins (born 1962), American techno musician

Kelley Atkins (born 1966), Canadian curler Kelley Law

Larry Atkins (born 1975), formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs

Lucy Atkins, British author

Madeleine Atkins CBE, British academic

Mark Atkins, Australian didgeridoo player

Martin Atkins (born 1959), British drummer

Nicole Atkins (born 1978), American singer-songwriter

Norman Atkins (1934–2010), Canadian politician

Peter Atkins (born 1940), professor of chemistry and author

Robert Atkins (nutritionist) (1930–2003), physician noted for the Atkins Nutritional Approach (Atkins diet)

Robert Atkins (politician) (born 1946), United Kingdom politician

Rodney Atkins (born 1969(, country singer

Ros Atkins, BBC News presenter

Ross Atkins (born 1989), English footballer

Ross Atkins (baseball) (born 1973), baseball executive

Sharif Atkins (born 1975), actor

Susan Atkins (1948–2009), Manson family member

Tobi Atkins, Australian actor

Tom Atkins (disambiguation)

Tommy Atkins, World War I-era nickname for the iconic British soldier

Toni Atkins (born 1962), American politician

Vera Atkins (1908–2000), British intelligence officer

Victoria Atkins (born 1976), British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament (MP) for Louth and Horncastle since May 2015

William Atkins (architect) (1811–1887), Irish architect

William Atkins (footballer) (born 1939), former professional footballer

Jake White Project

The Jake White Project was a short-lived New Jersey band that recorded three albums between 2004 and 2006.

The Jake White Project (aka JWP) was formed in 2004 in Whippany, New Jersey. It was the brainchild of Jake White, a songwriter from Millburn, New Jersey who had previously played in local bands Blue Eclipse and Stinson. He was joined by two high school friends; guitarist Doug Atkins and drummer Karim Faris, along with guitarist Greg Sierpowski and keyboardist Faris Faris (brother of Karim).

Once recording commenced, singer-songwriter Liliana Rose sang a few songs on the debut. The band's first album, Recreation, was released in June 2004. Shortly before the album tour, Sandra Myers took over as female lead vocalist.

JWP members Jake White and Faris Faris were contracted to write songs for two independent movie releases by film company New Generation Cinema in 2004.[1]

In May 2005, the band released its sophomore effort, Southbound, followed by another summer tour.

After the tour, both Faris brothers, Atkins, and Myers left the group. White and Sierpowski acted as a duo in making the third (and final) Jake White Project album, On My Own, in June 2006. Following the release of the album, the group formally disbanded. White and Sierpowski both went on to record their respective solo material. Atkins now plays with up and coming singer/songwriter Jessica Rose and DiTaranto is with New York metal band Forsakken.

List of Chicago Bears players

The following are lists of past and current players of the Chicago Bears professional American football team.

List of Cleveland Browns first-round draft picks

The Cleveland Browns joined the National Football League (NFL) in 1950 with the Baltimore Colts and San Francisco 49ers after having spent four seasons with the All-America Football Conference. The Browns' first selection as an NFL team was Ken Carpenter, a wide receiver from Oregon State. The team's most recent first round selections were Baker Mayfield, quarterback at Oklahoma and Denzel Ward, cornerback at Ohio State.

Every year during April, each NFL franchise seeks to add new players to its roster through a collegiate draft known as "the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting", which is more commonly known as the NFL Draft. Teams are ranked in inverse order based on the previous season's record, with the worst record picking first, and the second worst picking second and so on. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that appeared in the previous Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion always picks 32nd, and the Super Bowl loser always picks 31st. Teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades.

The Browns did not have any draft choices from 1996 to 1998, because then-owner Art Modell took all the team's players to Baltimore, Maryland, effectively stopping the franchise. However, the NFL mandated that the Browns' name, colors, and franchise history remain in Cleveland and that the team would reactivate by 1999. In 1999, the Browns selected number one overall, drafting University of Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch.

The Browns have selected number one overall five times: Bobby Garrett (1954), Tim Couch (1999), Courtney Brown (2000), Myles Garrett (2017) and Baker Mayfield (2018). The team has also selected number two overall only once and number three overall five times. The Browns have selected players from the University of Michigan five times, Ohio State University and the University of Southern California four times, and the University of Florida three times. Four eventual Hall of Famers were selected by the Browns: Doug Atkins, Jim Brown, Paul Warfield, and Ozzie Newsome.

Tommy Hensley

Thomas B. "Tommy" Hensley (July 30, 1932 – October 30, 1994) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from 1967 to 1987. During his time in the NFL, he was selected as the umpire for Super Bowl XIX in 1985. He wore uniform number 19 during his NFL career, which was later worn by Scott Green, and is currently worn by Clay Martin.

He attended Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee where he was inducted into the Wall of Fame in November 2009. He played football at the University of Tennessee for the years. His teammates at UT included Doug Atkins and Johnny Majors.

Mr. Hensley was a lineman at Central High School, where he graduated in 1950. After graduation, he went to Virginia Tech on a football scholarship but returned to Knoxville to play tackle on the University of Tennessee football teams in 1952 and 1953. A Knoxville News Sentinel “Sports Brief” prior to his junior year said, “Tommy Hensley, age 20, 6 foot 190 pound junior (actually 6-2 and 220 pounds), from Knoxville lettered last year as a defensive tackle. His performances on

offense during the spring increased his potential value to the team. (He) has good speed and is a conscientious worker ranked with the top tackle on the squad.” He graduated with a degree in marketing. Although he owned and operated a service station in Fountain City for 15 years and was a national-accounts director for a trucking firm for five, he was known for his association with football.

Mr. Hensley officiated high school football 15 years and Southeastern Conference football for five. His first game as an NFL official was as a linesman at New Orleans in 1967. His final 20 years of NFL officiating was as an umpire, including the 1985 Super Bowl at Stanford Stadium. Hensley was the linesman, and later umpire, on the crew of referee Bernie Ulman from 1967-74.

He was recognized for his officiating by the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame by being presented the organization's Amateur Award. He was also inducted into the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame.

Sometimes his large, muscular frame was a positive force in his officiating. Once he backed down a huge lineman who was upset at another official. In a game against Pittsburgh, he was bowled over from behind by a Steeler defender. He dusted himself off and continued to officiate. In his rookie year a fan rushed onto the field to "hit" the official. As he approached, Tom hit him with a right cross and the fan was carried off the field. Tom was forever named "one punch Hensley" after that event, staged in front of Washington Redskins coach, Otto Graham.

Willie Galimore

Willie "The Wisp" Galimore (March 30, 1935 – July 27, 1964) was an American football running back for the Chicago Bears from 1957–1963. He attended Florida A&M University, working with the legendary coach Jake Gaither. Galimore is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Galimore possessed incredible speed and lateral movement; many of the opposing players of the time stated that they believed Galimore could run side-to-side down the field just as fast as most men could in a straight line. His running style could be said to most resemble the style of Billy Sims or perhaps Terrell Davis, but faster.

In a documentary short by NFL Films on Galimore, it was said that he was probably the last great find before NFL scouting became sophisticated. Bears assistant coach Phil Handler, while scouting for talent in Florida, received a tip about Galimore's prowess as a halfback, and the Bears subsequently drafted him in the 5th round of the 1956 NFL draft. Galimore's peers (including Chuck Bednarik and Doug Atkins) referred to Galimore as one of the best runners they ever faced.

Galimore was killed in an automobile accident on July 27, 1964 in Rensselaer, Indiana at the age of 29 with teammate Bo Farrington. His number 28 has been retired by the Bears.His son, Ron Galimore, was the first Black U.S. Olympic gymnast.

Willie Galimore's last visit to his hometown of St. Augustine, Florida came just weeks before his death, and he participated in the St. Augustine movement during the Civil Rights Movement, becoming the first Black person who was able to register as a guest at the previously all-white Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge (where the arrest of the 72-year-old mother of the governor of Massachusetts for trying to be served in a racially integrated group had made national headlines a few months before). Galimore's civil rights activism is honored with a Freedom Trail marker at his home at 57 Chapin Street in St. Augustine. His widow, Mrs. Audrey Galimore, took part in the dedication of the marker on July 2, 2007. A community center in the historic Lincolnville neighborhood of the city also bears Galimore's name, and he is depicted on a historical mural painted by schoolchildren on Washington Street.

Running backs
Wide receivers /
Tight ends
Pre-modern era
two-way players
Defensive backs
and punters

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