The 20 Biggest Baddest Bears of All Time; #4 Doug Atkins
No. 4 Doug Atkins
Doug Atkins (photo courtesy ChicagoBears.com)
The legend of big badass defensive ends started long before Julius Peppers and about a decade before Deacon Jones. “The Big Guy” Doug Atkins stood 6’8” and weighed in at 275 lbs. Atkins was a monster of a man and played with that same demeanor.
Atkins was fast enough to rush the edge, but usually preferred to go through opposing blockers on his way to the QB. Former NFL player Bill Curry told a story of Atkins from his rookie year when he was a center with the Green Bay Packers.
“Look, here’s some things I want you to remember,” Skornoski said. “Number 81 is Doug Atkins, he’s 6’9” and he weighs 265 pounds. He said DON’T CUT HIM, and if he falls down, help him up and say nice play, Mr. Atkins.”
“Well, I (Curry) started to laugh,” Curry said.
“Kid, this is not a joke, and I’m not kidding you now, because if you cut him, on his knees, the first thing he’s going to do is kill you, and then, he’s going to kill me.”
Atkins played defensive end in the NFL for 17 seasons and destroyed offensive linemen and quarterbacks in the process.
There are stories that have Atkins picking up and throwing opposing blockers at quarterbacks and rumors that he would body press players over his head and slam them to the ground rather than tackle them.
Atkins is one of the biggest players in the Hall of Fame and is probably one of the strongest who ever played the game.