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Pat Fischer
No. 37
Personal information
Born: (1940-01-02) January 2, 1940 (age 82)
St. Edward, Nebraska
Height:5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight:170 lb (77 kg)
Career information
High school:Omaha (NE) Westside
NFL Draft:1961 / Round: 17 / Pick: 232
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions yards:941
Player stats at

Patrick Fischer (born January 2, 1940 in St. Edward, Nebraska) is a former American football cornerback[1] in the National Football League for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1961 to 1967, and the Washington Redskins from 1968 to 1977.

Fischer attended Westside High School in Omaha and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. At Nebraska, Fischer played safety, tailback, and quarterback.[2] Fischer joined the NFL as the 17th-round draft choice of St. Louis in the 1961 NFL Draft. He then signed with Washington as a free agent in 1968. He was a 1969 Pro Bowler. In 1972, the Redskins won the NFC championship game of the 1972–73 NFL playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys, when they limited Roger Staubach, their quarterback, to only 9 completions in 20 attempts for 98 passing yards and three allowed sacks, Fischer and Mike Bass, the other cornerback, being particularly successful in shutting down their wide receivers. But though the Redskin defense allowed only 69 net passing yards, it could not stop the Miami Dolphins's running game (184 rushing yards) in losing Super Bowl VII.

Fischer finished his 17-year career with 56 interceptions, and ranks seventh all-time in Redskins career interceptions with 27 and fourth all-time with 412 career interception return yards. At the time of his retirement, Fischer had played in 213 NFL games, then a record for a cornerback. He was well known for his strong tackling skills despite his diminutive size. Some of Fischer's most memorable defensive match-ups occurred against Philadelphia Eagles receiver Harold Carmichael who stood eleven inches taller than Fischer. Fischer's mantra "get a leg up and you own him" is used today to motivate and teach smaller defensive backs how to defend taller wide receivers.

Any discussion of Pat Fischer raises the question: "Did he invent the bump-and-run?" While playing with the Cardinals, he was teamed in the defensive backfield with Hall of Fame free safety Larry Wilson, who specialized in the safety blitz. Unfortunately, the Cardinals were burned a few times by skilled quarterbacks finding the receiver running free into the hole left by the charging Wilson. This was solved by the use of the bump-and-run, a tactic that, fortunately for the Cardinals, Pat Fischer was tailor-made for. From that point on, he made a living of physically harassing receivers. Whether Fischer or his defensive coordinator, Chuck Drulis, invented the coverage is up for continued debate but there can be no doubt that Pat Fischer was the master.[3]

In the late 1980s, NFL Films named Fischer as the Redskins All-Time Neutralizer sponsored by Tums. After retiring from the Redskins, Fischer worked as a stockbroker and owned a successful real estate business. In 2003, he was named to the Professional Football Researchers Association Hall of Very Good in the association's inaugural HOVG class.[4]

Fischer was nicknamed "The Mouse" for his relatively small size.[5] As of 2014, Fischer was suffering from "dementia, cognitive decline, and severe memory loss"[6] and was residing in an assisted-living facility.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Denny, Stephen (2011-03-31). Killing Giants: 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry. Penguin. pp. 90–. ISBN 9781591843832. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Whatever happened to ... Pat Fischer - Washington Times".
  3. ^ "Pat Fischer: Legends Profile".
  4. ^ "Hall of Very Good". Archived from the original on April 7, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  5. ^ Shapiro, Leonard (February 2, 2018). "They were the first Redskins to play in the Super Bowl. Decades later, they're paying the price". The Washington Post. Known as 'the Mouse,' Fischer was listed in the team’s media guide as 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, both exaggerations on the high side.
  6. ^ "Fight for old D.C. left a trail of injuries". The Washington Post. November 7, 2012.
  7. ^ Shapiro, Leonard (February 2, 2018). "They were the first Redskins to play in the Super Bowl. Decades later, they're paying the price". The Washington Post.