Len Dawson tells the story of the first time he ever saw Doug Atkins, " It was the only time in my career I was glad I wasn`t starting."
"He was so big and so strong and when he wanted to do something he did it. Johnny Unitas told me one time Doug was the only player he was afraid of. Dick Butkus said the same thing. Now if you can imagine Dick Butkus being afraid of someone, you get an idea of how Doug affected people."
During a Fox NFL Sunday broadcast several years ago, John Madden recalled knowing several players who would skip the Pro Bowl because they didn't want to have to play against Doug Atkins. Pat Summerall said he knew some of those same players.
Bill Curry (Colts center, 1967-72) on playing Doug Atkins: "This guy is not a regular human being. If we don't irritate him, he will not kill any of us today. So, don't you dare mess with him."
Alex Hawkins (Colts running back, 1959-65): I saw him eliminate the entire Minnesota backfield. He put Brown and Mason out on two straight plays. And, the following week, he put Hornung and Taylor out with clotheslines on two consecutive plays.