Virginia cornerback Chase Minnifield talked to reporters this afternoon at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Minnifield is the son of Frank Minnifield, who played cornerback for the Browns from 1984-92 and made four Pro Bowls. The elder Minnifield and Hanford Dixon formed one of the best cornerback tandems in NFL history. Chase Minnifield said he has not met with the Browns at the combine, but he discussed his father's legacy and ties to the team as well as his own goals. Here are some of the highlights from the conversation:
What is the best advice your dad gave you?: ďI got advice every day. Just donít let people outwork you. His work ethic was passed down to me. Iím a big believer in you get out the work you put into it. My dad was a walk-on that turned into a four-time Pro Bowler. Heís a big-time, hard-working guy, and thatís what Iíve been. Thatís what he passed down to me.Ē
Have you watched tape of him?: ďI have a little bit of tape. I have films of him playing Jerry Rice and things like that. We donít sit there and study them. We look at them sometimes to see what he and Hanford do. I donít just watch my dad. I watch Hanford, too. Itís interesting.Ē
Your dad was one of the first players to use a laptop to study receivers. I suppose you donít just rely on physical skills?: ďI watch a lot of film, about four hours a day during the season. I use my laptop and Microsoft Excel. My dad taught me a lot and thatís one of the things he taught me.Ē
Who was better, Hanford or your dad?: ďMy dad. Heíd kill me if I said something different.Ē
What would you do if you werenít playing football?: ďI canít see myself not playing football. Football was in my cradle. Thatís all Iíve really ever done -- sports and football has always been a part of that.Ē
You said you had a football in the cradle, was that for real?: "Yeah, Iím pretty sure I had a football in the cradle."
Did you live in Cleveland?: "I lived in Lexington, but my dad had a place in Cleveland. I came up there on the weekends."
Do you have a special feeling about the Browns?: "Iím clearly attached to the Browns because of what my dad is to the Cleveland fan base. But I donít have a preference for teams."
Your dadís calf muscles were really big. Did he tell you to work on your calves?: "Nah, but everybody from Cleveland always checks my calves. I guess theyíre kind of legendary."
You seem proud of your dad. Do you ever wish you were Chase Jones?: Nah, my goal in life is to be better than my dad, and it pushes me every day. Everybody tells me I wonít be, so itís a good fuel. Clearly you canít sit there and say your sonís going to be better than you. You have to prove it first."
How much you enjoy talking about your dad?: "I enjoy it because my dad is what I would call a true rags-to-riches story if you really followed him. From what heís doing now from where he came from, heís a true inspiration. You canít knock anybody because nothing was given to him. Youíve got to respect that."
Did he coach you?: ďYeah, heís coached me all the way from little league to high school. He was the defensive coordinator for (my first) two years (of high school), and then he just backed off a little bit and just did the parent thing for two years.Ē
Have you spent time with Hanford Dixon?: ďEvery time Iím in Cleveland, my dad and Hanford get up there, we talk there and sometimes he gets Hanford to call me in college and he talks about my technique and things like that. Itís always good to get a second opinion on things.Ē
Do you have the poster of your dad and Hanford Dixon?: ďYeah. Mighty Minnie and Top Dawg? Weíve got a whole bunch of Ďem.Ē
Would it be special if you ended up with the Browns?: ďYeah, that would be an awesome situation. I wouldnít be trying to carry on what my father (did). Iíd try to make my own thing. My goal is to do more than what my dad did. He never got to the Super Bowl with the Browns, so that would be something I would try to do. Iím always trying to strive to do more, but it would be an awesome situation.Ē
Is your dad a cult hero in Cleveland?: "I understand. My dad is a rock star in Cleveland."
Are you tired of hearing about Dawgs all the time?: "I'm not tired of hearing it. That's what I grew up in. My dad barks every time he comes to Cleveland, so it's not nothing new."