Douglas Leon Atkins was born on May 8, 1930 and died on December 30, 2015 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
He was an American football defensive end.
Doug attended the University of Tennessee to play for the Tennessee Volunteers of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) on a basketball scholarship, but once football coach Bob Neyland recognized his combination of size and agility, Atkins was recruited for the American football team.
Doug also played college football at the University of Tennessee under legendary head coach Robert Neyland.
Atkins was a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Standing at 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m), Doug was a very good defender and well known for using his immense size and agility to his advantage.
Doug earned All-America honors in 1952.
In the 1953, the Cleveland Browns selected Doug Atkins, with the 11th overall selection of the NFL drafts.
Atkins has played his first two seasons in the NFL with the Browns, winning the NFL Eastern Conference in 1953, and the NFL Championship in 1954.
During his seasons with Chicago, he quickly became the leader of a devastating defensive unit.
While he was with the Bears, he 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.
Atkins announced his retirement from football during the pro bowl game in 1966.
Doug had changed his mind and signed with the Bears for the 1966 season.
He requested a trade from Chicago and he was then traded to the New Orleans Saints, before the 1967 season.
He injured his knee in the 1968 season.
At his final NFL career, he sacked Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dick Shiner, preserving the Saints’ 27-24 victory in the 1969 season finale.
Doug Atkins passed away at 85 yrs old.