Mark Twain said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Cover32 Redskins introduces Ring of Fame member cornerback Pat Fischer. Fischer was drafted in the 17th round of the 1961 NFL Draft by the then St. Louis Cardinals. Fischer played for the Cardinals from 1961 to 1967 and the Washington Redskins from 1968 to 1977. Pat Fischer was only 5’9” tall and weighed only 178 lbs.
Pat Fischer established the “bump and run” and disrupted wide receivers route running which changed the timing between their quarterbacks and them. He would get into the receiver’s and quarterback’s heads and cause them to lose focus. Even Roger Staubach, famous Dallas Cowboys quarterback, lost his temper and got a penalty for throwing a punch at Pat Fischer in a game. When Vince Lombardi became the Head Coach and part owner of the Washington Redskins in 1969, he kept Pat Fischer on his team. When George Allen became the Head Coach in 1971, he also kept Pat Fischer on his team. That says he had what it took to make their teams.
As a member of George Allen’s “over-the-hill-gang,” Pat Fischer kept the Dallas Cowboys explosive offense under 70 yards passing. In the 1972 NFC Championship game at RFK Stadium, the Redskins defense held Roger Staubach to only 9 completed passes out of 20 throws. They sacked Staubach three times and pressured him the entire game. Fischer and the secondary shut down the Cowboys receivers. Washington won the game by a score of 26 to 3 and went to the Super Bowl representing the NFC.
Fischer was a “shutdown corner.” He had 56 interceptions in his NFL career and was selected to 3 Pro Bowls. As a fan since 1969 and watching Pat Fischer play at RFK myself, I can testify that “little Pat Fischer” played big and was a crowd favorite. We fans would give George Allen’s defense standing ovations when they took to the field and the exceptional play of Pat Fischer was a big part of the reason. If a receiver did complete a pass on Fischer, he paid a price for it because Fischer was a hard hitter and a sure tackler, so there were very few runs after the catches. The receiver would “hear footsteps” the next pass thrown his way and usually get “alligator arms” expecting a hard hit from Fischer.
He played with a broken cheekbone and broken fingers. He answered the call to action. Although he usually had to defend against much taller receivers that outweighed him, Fischer would usually win those plays, He is quoted as saying, “get a leg up and you own him.” NFL films named Fischer the Redskins All Time Neutralizer. Pat Fischer, an iron man, played 17 years in 213 NFL games. He had over 400 return yards after interceptions.
The best cornerback not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is Pat Fischer. I personally believe it is a shame that great Redskins players like Pat Fischer, Gary Clark, Joe Jacoby and other Redskins players who are indisputably qualified and worthy have not yet been inducted in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Redskins fans need to know all the Ring of Fame members. Young fans should go on YouTube and search Pat Fischer to see for themselves that he is one of the best cornerbacks to ever play in the NFL.
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