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The former Virginia star is right at home as the Washington Redskins hold training camp in his Richmond stomping grounds.
Washington wide receiver Skye Dawson (16) hauls in a long pass in front of defender Chase Minnifield in training camp Monday.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The relocation of the Washington Redskins’ training camp to Richmond was appropriate for Chase Minnifield.
It was a homecoming, of sorts. The former University of Virginia standout has seen more than a few familiar faces since training camp formally convened Thursday.
Minnifield remains true to his former school, sporting a UVa shirt on Saturday following the afternoon session at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.
“It’s an awesome experience,” he said of training camp. “A lot of Richmond people play for UVa and come down to watch” the Redskins’ workouts. “It’s been good to see a lot of people that look familiar.
“It’s a great facility, top level. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the Redskins organization. This is a great opportunity to lace up the pads out here.”
Some of the faces in the crowd are more familiar than others. Notable among them: Minnifield’s father, Frank Minnifield. The elder Minnifield played nine seasons as a Cleveland Browns cornerback (1984-1992).
“My family has been down here for a while,” Chase said. “I’ve had teammates from the Richmond area come over as well.”
Minnifield played at Virginia from 2008 to 2011. He recorded 109 tackles, 13 interceptions (including one for a touchdown) and two sacks. He was also used in the Cavaliers’ kick return game.
He wasn’t selected in the 2012 NFL draft, but signed with Washington as a free agent.
Thus far in camp, Minnifield has had some reps with the special teams, but mostly he’s seen work at corner. During the afternoon sessions, he’s been jamming receivers off the line and has tipped a few balls.
Minnifield is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which caused him to miss his rookie season. He said he is happy with his progress.
“I feel like I’m doing pretty good,” he said. “I’m just happy with the opportunity to be out on the field again. Every day I feel like I’m getting better and better, more comfortable than where I was.”
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan seems to agree.
“I think Chase has done a great job,” Shanahan said. “He’s been very impressive out there the first few days, as well as a couple of other days.”
Minnifield said he believes he has something to prove in his return from the injury.
“I just want to get out there and play, not much more,” he said. “I just want to show myself and prove to myself, not just to the team and coaches, but to everyone around the league.”
Minnifield said he and his teammates have the same goal for this season, regardless of being defending division champions.
“We have the same expectations,” he said. “We’re going to go out there and take it as far as we can.”
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