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ALAMEDA, Calif. - 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_NFL Damarious Randall Browns Jersey . The 23-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., defeated Germanys Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday in the fourth round of the Sony Open in just 89 minutes. Cleveland Browns Jerseys .com) - Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James will sit out Thursdays game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with left knee soreness. http://www.brownsrookiestore.com/Browns ... bb-Jersey/. Although Spain could still advance out of the group stage, the game may have signalled the end of the run by a generation of Spanish stars whose quick passing, "tiki-taka" style delighted the world and helped them win the last three major tournaments. Jarvis Landry Jersey . PETERSBURG, Florida – Heading into Thursday nights action, Dioner Navarro had caught 14 innings combined from starters Drew Hutchison and Mark Buehrle. T. J. Carrie Browns Jersey .C. -- The Edmonton Oilers used a late-power-play goal to get a hard-fought road victory.MIAMI -- The Washington Nationals comeback victory against Jose Fernandez felt well-deserved, even if the pivotal runs were unearned. Jayson Werth hit a tying three-run homer off Fernandez after Miami Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia committed two errors in the sixth inning, and the Nationals went on to win 6-3 Wednesday night. "Tonight was good for us against a really tough pitcher," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "Hes an animal, one of the best pitchers in all of baseball." After the Nationals overcame a 3-0 deficit, pinch-hitter Zach Walters broke a tie in the eighth inning with his second career homer -- and his second in as many nights. Washington took the rubber game of the three-game series despite being without four starters, including Bryce Harper, a late scratch because of a tight left quadriceps that has bothered him since Friday. Harper is expected to be back in the lineup Thursday when the Nationals begin an 11-game homestand against St. Louis. Fernandez, betrayed by his defence, departed for a pinch-hitter after seven innings. He allowed four hits and three runs, all unearned, with 10 strikeouts and no walks. The Marlins precocious ace allowed only one baserunner in the first five innings, but Saltalamacchias throwing error put runners at first and third with nobody out in the sixth. Fernandez retired the next two batters before Werth stepped to the plate. "I thought Jose was going to pitch himself out of that," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "He made some great pitches, then just made a mistake and the guy hit it out." Werths homer, his third of the season, tied the score at 3. "I got beat," Fernandez said of his matchup with Werth. "Its part of the game. Obviously not what I wanted to happen, but we learn from it." Walters led off the eighth with the Nationals first pinch-hit homer this year, which came against Mike Dunn (0-2). That raised Walters slugging percentage to 2.000. "Luck of the draw," the rookie said of his fast start. Ian Desmond added a two-run single. Tanner Roark allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings, and the bullpen pitched the final 2 2-3 innings without allowing a runner. DDrew Storen (1-0) got the final two outs in the seventh, and Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his third save in as many chances.dddddddddddd Washington improved to 5-1 against the Marlins this year and 14-3 against them since July. Winning the series was especially sweet for the Nationals after they were swept last weekend at Atlanta. "The way the road trip started, to get two out of three here is good," Werth said. Miamis Derek Dietrich hit a tape-measure three-run homer, his third. The Marlins have homered in eight consecutive games after finishing last in the majors in home runs in 2013. Giancarlo Stanton, baseballs RBIs leader, went 0 for 4, including two at-bats with runners in scoring position. Fernandez remained 11-0 at home and became only the third major league pitcher since 1914 to go unbeaten in his first 18 home starts, according to STATS. And he appeared headed for a victory until the sixth. After Jose Lobaton led off with a double, Saltalamacchia made an ill-advised throw to third on a bunt, and both runners were safe when the throw was errant. With one out, Saltalamacchia dropped a pop foul for another error that forced Fernandez to throw extra pitches. Werths homer deflected off the hands of a fan in the first row of the right-field seats. The ruling was upheld by a replay review that took only 22 seconds. "We have the ability to come back because guys grind at-bats and never give up," Williams said. NOTES: Nationals OF Denard Span (concussion) is expected to begin a rehabilitation assignment Thursday and may rejoin the team Saturday. ... Washington RHP Doug Fister (back muscle) is scheduled to pitch two innings Thursday in an extended spring training game in Florida. Hell pitch at least twice more after that before joining the rotation, perhaps in early May. ... Jones came into the game leading the majors with 24 strikeouts, but didnt fan in this one. ... The Nationals begin their homestand Thursday against St. Louis with Taylor Jordan (0-1, 4.76) slated to pitch against Adam Wainwright (2-1, 2.57). ... The Seattle Mariners visit Miami for only the second time, and the first time since 2005, to begin a three-game series Friday. 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