Atkinson III in silver and black a natural fit


Sent as web extra . . .

On his first day in a Raider uniform, George Atkinson III didn’t have to worry about his father looking over his shoulder.

George Atkinson is regular presence at Raiders practice, working on the club’s broadcast team, and is often at the side of owner Mark Davis.

Instead, Davis watched and chatted with Raiders ambassador Willie Brown, while George III ran plays as a running back wearing No. 34 in the silver and black he’d worshipped his entire life.

“He told me yesterday, `I’m not going to come out. I know you’re expecting me to come but this is your moment and you need to be a man about it as an individual and I’m not going to be here to pressure you,’’ Atkinson III said following practice Friday at the Raiders’ rookie minicamp. “He’ll have a chance to come out and see me.’’

Although the father played defense as a cornerback and safety and the son is a running back, special teams had a lot to do with why George made the team and is a potential ticket for George III.

A seventh-round pick out of Morris Brown, Atkinson returned 32 punts for 490 yards, a 13.6 average and two touchdowns as a rookie in 1968 to go along with a 25.1 average on 25 kickoffs.

Atkinson III, one of 62 juniors who declared for the draft following their junior season but was not selected, returned a pair kickoffs for touchdowns as a Notre Dame freshman and gained 943 yards and averaged 6.2 yards per carry in three seasons in a system where backs were often rotated.

He was also a willing and enthusiastic participant on coverage teams.

“If it’s kickoff, punt block or punt, I’m looking at special teams as a definite way to get on the field and contribute early to this team,’’ Atkinson III said.

A star at Granada High in Livermore along with his twin brother Josh, who remains at Notre Dame as a receiver, Atkinson III was seen often in Napa during training camp and an occasional visitor to the facility with his father.

As the draft dragged on and the phone never rang, Atkinson III began to wonder if wanted to get selected or instead go unselected, enabling him to sign with the Raiders.

Atkinson III said it never occurred to him to make his own way separate from the road his father traveled, feeling it was a natural fit to come to the organization he has known his entire life.

“I’ve looked up to this organization and this club for along time and there was no part of that going on with me,’’ Atkinson III said. “I’ve looked up to my dad and wanted to follow in his footsteps but also lead my own trail at the same time. You’ve got to find that balance and that’s what I’m trying to do right now.’’

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said bringing in Atkinson III was a no-brainer.

“He’s a talented athlete and he’s got a lot of speed, and he has the ability to help us on special teams,’’ Allen said. “I think any time you have a chance to get a legacy, somebody who has the Raider bloodlines, you do it because those guys understand what it means to be a Raider.’’

Atkinson III said he fielded offers from other teams after the draft, with teams attempting to talk him out of going to Oakland, but to no avail. It’s a toss-up as to which Atkinson was more thrilled with the end result.

“I think it was a draw,’’ Atkinson III said. “I could see it in his face. Right after the draft, he knew I was coming here without any doubt so we both basked in the moment.’’


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Me too.
    It was December and I was calling friends making “if we win this game, we are meeting in Oakland for a playoff game” plans.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    In the hunt post Thanksgiving?
    We wereladt year, weren’twe?

  • 0ak R8rs

    Its a beautiful sport. An intricate and cerebral sport. And 90% boring.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Palmer’s Fault.

  • R8erEduc8er

    Uneventful (I warned ya): Derek Carr runs a pass play at Raiders rookie minicamp.


  • You know it.

  • Bars

    I can hear Scott Bair in the background. Thanks for sharing.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    “Chess on ice”

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    You still like him.

  • Dakota

    Gooooooo kings!

  • Another “legacy” game this year.

  • xraided

    try the worst DB in the history of the NFL. 2 plays 99 yards between 2 players. i was there…that was sad

  • Dakota

    Got a galaxy tab pro for my birthday……anyone know anything good or bad about them?

  • RediaR

    Yeah, it’s great when people bother to hate us. Now we mainly just get pity.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    My god!

  • lefty12

    In person.

  • I hope he completes a 2 yard pass in FG range, with no timeouts and 10 seconds on the clock against us for old time sakes.

  • RediaR

    If you pour hot oil on them they print legal currency.

  • R8erEduc8er

    Thrilling stuff, huh?!!

  • Dakota

    I need that app!

  • RediaR

    Or as they call it in Alaska, chess.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Ive been a big fan of the galaxy since I first heard about it.

  • Breaking_Black

    Add You got it for free to the good side.
    Also, Samsung makes pretty good products.

  • RediaR

    So… this post?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist


  • GG

    I hate Korean made, Korean designed electronics etc

    Imo, they often wear out too quickly, within 1-2 years, start noticing many little irksome problems

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    It was a long, long,long time ago,actually.


    It’s your birthday Dakota? Have a good one.

  • SilverandBlack666

    I agree

  • SilverandBlack666

    Happy Birthday Dakota!

  • Dakota

    A few days ago, but thanks!



  • RediaR
  • Snoozebum

    They make great unicorn detectors, though, don’t they?


    George Atkinson Jr on the Raiders?
    Wonder if the guy knows that he has one hell of example to live up to.

  • Raider O

    White Devils have birthdays?

  • Dakota

    New post!

  • OhioRaider

    How I miss 1983.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I hate, hate,hate,hate unbidden GIFs.
    With the perfect Hatred.

  • Return

    Are your chances of being drafted higher than if you spend another year in school? Your chances of injury definitely go up. Do you stand to make more money if you get in a year earlier? Does getting 300K your Sr year with improved draft position out weigh getting 200K your Jr year with poorer draft position?

    It’s a lot of factors to consider.

  • Return

    Actually the worst has been the offense. Look at the differential between 2011 and 2012 compared to worst point allowed 2012-13. And Olsen didn’t do any better than Knapp.

  • Chris in NY