Dave Atkins' Biography - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Dave Atkins' Biography

Dave Atkins
Senior Offensive Assistant Coach
Year with Browns: 3rd    
Year in NFL: 22nd

Dave Atkins was named senior offensive assistant coach on Jan. 27, 2007, after serving two seasons as the Browns running backs coach (2005-06). 

In 2005, Atkins worked with Browns RB Reuben Droughns to set a franchise record with 309 carries in a season and rush for 1,232 yards, becoming the first Browns RB to top the 1,000-yard mark since 1985.  Atkins' impression helped Droughns 1,232 rushing yards rank sixth in the AFC and his 1,601 yards from scrimmage (1,232 rushing and 369 receiving) rank eighth in the NFL.

Atkins spent the previous five seasons (2000-04) as the New Orleans Saints running backs coach and brings 21 years of NFL coaching experience to the Browns along with stops in Philadelphia, New England, Arizona, Minnesota and New Orleans. 

Atkins' impact on the Saints running game from 2000-04 was evident with the Saints featuring a 1,000 yard runner in five consecutive seasons, establishing a franchise record, and erasing a ten-year void of not having a 1,000-yard rusher dating back to the 1990 season.

In 2004, Atkins worked with RB Deuce McAllister, who rushed for 1,074 yards.  In 2003, McAllister was voted to the Pro Bowl for the second-consecutive season, and ranked fourth in the league with 1,641 yards rushing and also added a career-high 67 receptions. 

In Atkins' first season in New Orleans (2000), the club ranked eighth in the NFL in rushing with 2,068 yards, the highest the team had ranked since finishing third in 1987. That total was achieved despite the loss of starting RB Ricky Williams in Week 11. The Saints still averaged 113.7 yards over the final six contests, with the running game serving as a key factor in capturing the NFC West title.

Prior to joining New Orleans, Atkins served as tight ends coach with Minnesota for three seasons (1997-99) and had his first stint with New Orleans as running back coach in 1996.  Atkins also brings NFL offensive coordinator experience to the coaching staff, having served in that capacity at Arizona from 1994-95.  In 1994, the Cardinals led the NFL in time of possession (32:37), and the next season Arizona had one of the league's best backfield duos in FB Larry Centers and RB Garrison Hearst.

In 1993, Atkins joined New England as running backs coach. In his only season with the Patriots, New England averaged 111.3 rushing yards per contest, including a 1,088-yard effort by Leonard Russell, who finished second among AFC running backs.  Atkins broke into the NFL ranks with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1986. He worked with numerous facets of the Eagles' coaching staff during his seven-year stay, including running backs (1986-90), special teams (1991), and tight ends (1992).

After playing three years of pro football, Atkins started his college coaching career at his alma mater, the University of Texas-El Paso, in 1979. He worked with the running backs and with the kicking game for two seasons at UTEP before joining the staff at San Diego State in 1981, where he spent the next five years.

Born May 18, 1949 in Victoria, Texas, Atkins and his wife, Cynthia, have a son, Dave Jr., and a daughter, Jasmine.

Coaching Background:

1979-80            University of Texas-El Paso, running backs coach/special teams assistant

1981-85            San Diego State University, running backs coach

1986-90            Philadelphia Eagles, running backs coach

1991                 Philadelphia Eagles, special teams coordinator

1992                 Philadelphia Eagles, tight ends coach

1993                 New England Patriots, running backs coach

1994-95            Arizona Cardinals, offensive coordinator

1996                 New Orleans Saints, running backs coach

1997-99            Minnesota Vikings, tight ends coach

2000-04            New Orleans Saints, running backs coach

2005-06            Cleveland Browns, running backs coach

2007                 Cleveland Browns, senior offensive assistant coach

Playing Background:

1973                 San Francisco 49ers

1974                 Honolulu Hawaiians (WFL)

1975                 San Diego Chargers

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