Doug Swift is without doubt one of the most interesting people ever to play in the NFL. From 1970-1975, Doug was the starting strongside linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, and during his six-year career, he played in three Super Bowls, won two rings, and was a key member of the 1972 squad that to this day is the only team in the history of the NFL to post a perfect season. On paper, it would appear that Doug had no business playing professional football. He didn't have the right pedigree. He hadn't gone to a big-time football school like Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Texas, or even Syracuse, the college team he grew up watching in his hometown. Instead, Doug went to little Amherst College which played an eight-game schedule in Division III with no playoffs. In addition to this lack of experience and training, for a professional football player, Doug wasn't exceptionally big, fast, or as Bear Bryant liked to claim how he liked his boys "mobile, agile, and hostile." So, how did Doug do it? He maintains that his success was due to a combination of discipline, determination, and doggedness, or as he is quick to note, "While I wasn't always the best, I made sure I was always the most determined."
In addition to being very determined, Doug was very smart and early in his football career developed the ability to sense what was going to happen before it happened, and then put himself in the right position for when it happened. With this unique feel for the game, it is no coincidence that Doug compiled one of the best, if not the best "games started/games won" ratio of anyone who ever played in the NFL for at least six years. As Coach Shula said when Doug announced his retirement, "Like a lot of guys who played on the "No- Name Defense," Doug never received the individual credit he deserved, but in retrospect, I can say that he was as smart, dedicated, and determined as any player I ever coached." Not too bad for a kid from little Amherst College.