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Minnifield: 'I Have To Prove Myself Right Now.'


After the final name was called in the 2012 NFL Draft, the real work began for Redskins executives.

Over the ensuing hours and days, the team signed 12 undrafted college free agents, and invited an additional 37 tryouts to camp.

One of the first phone calls went to Virginia cornerback Chase Minnifield, who went undrafted with health concerns. 

Minnifield said that he received phone calls from five different teams, but picked the Redskins on a recommedation from his father, Frank.

Frank Minnifield was a star defensive back for the Cleveland Browns in the 1980s, appearing in four Pro Bowls and being named to the 1980s All-Decade Team.

But before joining the NFL, the elder Minnifield got his start in the USFL for the Chicago Blitz.  The Blitz executive that drafted Frank in 1983 was future Redskins general manager Bruce Allen.

The Redskins offered the younger Minnifield a contract, and he appeared in last weekend's rookie mini-camp at Redskins Park.

Although his disapointment about going undrafted was apparent, Minnifield has embraced the opportunity to prove 31 other teams wrong.

"I put together a good resume, and I feel like a lot of people got drafted over me that shouldn't have," he said.  "I knew that some teams took me off their draft boards before the draft, but I didn't know that every team did."

At Virginia, Minnifield was first team All-ACC in back-to-back seasons, 2010-11.  He had 13 career interceptions with the Cavaliers, and was a regular on defense and special teams.

"You have to play the cards that are dealt, and I've been playing mad," he said of his first weekend in the NFL.  "I was going to go out there and compete, whether I was a first-round pick or undrafted, as I am.

"I think my game speaks for itself."

Rookies are allowed back at the team facilities on May 14th.

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