Former Browns offensive lineman Dan Fike can recall what it was like to play with defensive backs Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon like it was yesterday.
"Those two fed off each other like there was no tomorrow," said Fike, who played in Cleveland for eight seasons (1985-92).
After all, Minnifield and Dixon, who played together for the Browns for six seasons (1984-1989), are considered one of the best cornerback duos of all time. Earlier this year, NFL.com ranked them as the second-best tandem in league history.
"Minnifield had his 'chicken wing,' he loved being on punt return. They'd get out there and he'd be covering one of the gunners, one of the guys that would be running down the field — he and somebody else would be the gunners," Fike said.
"Minnifield would say, he would wrap his arm up, he's get his forearm ready and say, 'I got that chicken wing ready, baby.' He's padding it all up. Because the only thing he was thinking about it was coming across and hitting somebody. And he did. He could lay somebody out with that arm, that chicken wing of his. Just, 'Pow!' during the game."
Minnifield, who played nine seasons in Cleveland (1984-92), was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and first-team All Pro in 1988. He was also part of the NFL's 1980s All-Decade team and inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
Dixon, who played six seasons with the Browns (1981-1989), was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All Pro, totaling 26 career interceptions.
"Hanford always had little sayings and stuff," Fike said, "and it just kept everybody pumped up."