ALAMEDA, Calif. Dontari Poe Jersey . - When George Atkinson IIIs name went uncalled through seven rounds of the NFL draft, there was no doubt where he would end up signing as an undrafted free agent. Despite offers from several teams, Atkinson ultimately signed with the team he was always destined to join, following his famous fathers footsteps to the Oakland Raiders. Now more than a quarter century after George Atkinson Jr. terrorized Lynn Swann and dozens of other NFL wide receivers as a hard-hitting safety with the Raiders, his son is trying to make the team as a backup running back and special teams contributor. "I had to turn a lot of teams down," the younger Atkinson said. "Right out of the gate, they were like, Dont go to the Raiders. I know you want to follow your heart but, weve got a spot for you here. But I know without a doubt this is the spot for me." Father and son knew this was a distinct possibility as the fifth round of the draft ended and no team had called. With two rounds remaining, they believed it might be better if the younger Atkinson wasnt drafted so he could make sure he could sign with the Raiders. While some sons might prefer to blaze their own trail in an organization with no connection to their father, the younger Atkinson had been waiting to put on a Raiders uniform ever since he was a kid. "Ive looked up to this organization and this club for a long time and there was no part of that going on with me," he said. "Ive looked up to my dad and wanted to follow in his footsteps but also lead my own trail at the same time. Youve got to find that balance and thats what Im trying to do right now." The elder Atkinson is a beloved member of the organization for his hard-hitting play that epitomized Oaklands style of play in the 1970s. He had 30 career interceptions and helped Oakland win its first Super Bowl following the 1976 season. He was most famous for his hits on Swann, which led former Steelers coach Chuck Noll to refer to him as part of the "criminal element" in football. He is now a broadcaster for the team but made a point of staying away from rookie minicamp last weekend. "He doesnt need that added pressure," the elder Atkinson said. "Hes learning a new game altogether. The pro ranks are a little bit different from high school and college. He needs time to focus on getting adjusted to the NFL. I dont need to be around. Its his time. I dont want to be a distraction to him and the team." The opportunity to play with the Raiders took out much of the sting of going undrafted after skipping his senior season at Notre Dame. In three years in college, the younger Atkinson rushed for 943 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also returned two kickoffs for scores as a freshman. "Its not all about how you come in, but how you leave," he said. "How you set your mark here in the league. You still have to make a team, drafted or undrafted." Atkinson is part of a crowded group of running backs that includes free-agent acquisition Maurice Jones-Drew, returning starter Darren McFadden and last years sixth-round pick, Latavius Murray. But Oakland is searching for a returner and Atkinson III brings one attribute none of the other players competing for a roster spot have. "I think hes a talented athlete and hes got a lot of speed," coach Dennis Allen said. "He has the ability to help us on special teams also. So, I think anytime a chance to get a legacy, somebody who has the Raider blood lines, ... those guys understand what it means to be a Raider. We were pleased that we were able to bring him in here." NOTES: The Raiders signed seventh-round S Jonathan Dowling and CB T.J. Carrie to four-year contracts. ... Oakland also signed free agent DE Denico Autry and waived DT David Carter. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFLDeion Sanders Jersey . - The Detroit Lions have 13 takeaways this season — three less than all of last season — and the defence isnt the only unit pleased with the performance. Steve Bartkowski Jersey . Each day, TSN.ca provides the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NHL beat. Duck Calling With several marquee centres available via trade and expected to be available via free agency, the Anaheim Ducks could be primed to be big players in the coming days. http://www.falconsapparelsshop.com/justin-hardy-falcons-jersey-c-9/ . - Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis said Wednesday hes "nodded off" during meetings, but he said its something every player does.San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Miller made 31 saves as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the San Jose Sharks, 3-1, on Tuesday. Bo Horvat, Jannik Hansen and Radim Vrbata all scored for the Canucks, who have won three of their last four games. Miller has now won his last seven starts against the Sharks and has won 9- of-11 career games when facing them. San Joses lone goal came on Joe Thorntons successful penalty shot and Alex Stalock allowed all three goals on 21 shots in his teams third straight loss. I didnt think we were particularly any good and the score indicated that, Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. Right now we arent reaching deep enough. Vancouver struck first as Derek Dorsett flipped a bouncing puck through the slot and Horvats turnaround shot from the left circle went off a San Jose defender and trickled over the goal line 3:08 into the game. Joe Pavelski was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down by Alexander Edler less than eight minutes into the first period, but the opportunity was wasted as he rang a shot off the crossbar. Hansen was assessed a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head less than a minute into the second, but once his penalty expired, he raced out of the box and beat Stalock with a wrister for a 2-0 lead. Deion Jones Jersey. Under two minutes later, the Sharks were handed another penalty shot and Thornton didnt miss as his wrister rang off the left post and into the net. The Canucks regained their two-goal cushion as Vrbata settled Henrik Sedins cross-ice pass and ripped a shot over Stalocks shoulder at 7:09 of the middle stanza. Miller stopped nine shots in the third to seal the win. Game Notes San Joses eight-game home winning streak came to an end. It was the teams first loss at SAP Center since Nov. 26 against Calgary ... Sharks forward Matt Nieto was activated from injured reserve and played his first game since Dec. 4 after missing nine games with an ankle injury ... Vancouver improved to 10-2-2 against fellow Pacific Division members ... 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