Former New York Jets Linebacker Al Atkinson Has Delco Roots

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Linebacker Al Atkinson’s journey to the Jets wasn’t easy, but it certainly paid off, writes Jim Gehman for

He played high school ball at Monsignor Bonner and in 1965 played tackle at Villanova. He signed with the Buffalo Bills but in training they made him a middle linebacker and he only got to play two exhibition games.

“The Jets claimed me off waivers.”  Playing with the Jets was a better commute to his Upper Darby home.

In 1967, the Jets posted the first winning season in team history. The next year, they won the AFL Championship and upset the NFL Champion Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

With the Jets for 10 seasons, 1965-74, Atkinson collected 21 interceptions, co-leading the team with five in 1967.

Following football, he moved to Springfield and was a partner in the Atkinson & Mullen Travel Agency, now called Apple Vacations.

Tiring of travel, Atkinson began his third career in the car sales business.

“I worked locally. From my home, the Golden Mile is one block up, and that’s about 15 dealerships. I worked for three of them over 20 years.”

Atkinson is now retired, spending time with his family.

Read more about Al Atkinson here.

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