INDIANAPOLIS — His father, Frank Minnifield, is a rock star in Cleveland, but Chase Minnifield is here at the NFL Scouting Combine to blaze his own path.
The Virginia cornerback understands the endless comparisons to his dad — they look the same, sound the same, flash that same smile — and those NFL bloodlines are one reason scouts are intrigued by Chase.
Frank was a self-made, hard-working defender who starred for the Browns from 1984 to 1992. Along with fellow cornerback Hanford Dixon, Frank transformed old Municipal Stadium into the raucous, swirling Dawg Pound — and Cleveland’s defense into one of the league’s most fearsome during the team’s late 1980s playoff runs.
Chase adores his father, telling reporters Sunday that he never gets tired of talking about the man.
“My father, he’s been a pretty big influence on how I play, how I act, just my day-to-day routines,” Chase said. “… He’s taught me just about everything I know about the game.”
He doesn’t have a preference where he winds up in the pros, but Chase acknowledged it would be special to hear the Browns call his name on draft day.
Certainly that’s the case for the fans in Cleveland — still irritated to see the son of Clay Matthews wind up in Green Bay, when it made so much sense to simply connect the dots and bring him home. Maybe this time, it will happen.
– Marc Sessler