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Doug Atkins (1930 - 2015)

Getty Images / Collegiate Images / Photo by Tennessee

Doug Atkins (1930 - 2015)

Doug Atkins, a defensive lineman who was elected to both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame, has died, according to The Associated Press. He was 85.

Robert Shelton, a co-owner of Shelton-Hunt Funeral Home in Humboldt, Tennessee, said that Atkins died Wednesday morning of natural causes at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Atkins played in the NFL from 1953-69 with the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. His 6-foot-8 size created major problems for opponents. Atkins would often knock down passes at the line of scrimmage and use his high-jump skills to jump over blockers and get to the quarterback.


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His best NFL years were with the Chicago Bears. He made the Pro Bowl eight times in his 12 seasons playing for the Bears. He won two NFL Championships, the first in 1954 and then in 1963.  

Before joining the NFL, Atkins was a legend at the University of Tennessee where he played from 1950-52. Tennessee went 29-4-1 during his college career and won a national title in 1951.

The NFL Network ranked him as the No. 9 All-Time Pass Rusher in its Top-10 show.

Atkins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

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