ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Vikings rookie safety Lewis Cine remains patient in bid for starting job

The Vikings picked safety Lewis Cine in the first round of the 2022 draft, but whether he starts the Sept. 11 opener against Green Bay at U.S. Bank Stadium remains to be seen.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine performs a drill at TCO Performance Center in Eagan, Minnesota.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

EAGAN, Minn. — The previous time the Minnesota Vikings selected a safety in the first round of the NFL draft, Harrison Smith moved into the starting lineup in Week 1 in 2012. And he’s been there ever since.

Lewis Cine
Lewis Cine
Courtesy of Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings picked another safety, Lewis Cine, in the first round of the 2022 draft in April, but whether he starts the Sept. 11 opener against Green Bay at U.S. Bank Stadium remains to be seen. Second-year pro Camryn Bynum worked with the first team throughout spring drills, and that has continued for the first week and a half of training camp.

For now, Cine remains patient.

“My goal is to contribute to the team each and every way I can whether it’s special teams, defense, wherever I can,” Cine said of the battle with Bynum. “I trust (defensive coordinator Ed) Donatell. I trust that he’ll put me where I help the team the most, and at the end of the day I’ll put my best foot forward and compete. … Bynum makes me better, and I make Bynum better.

Cine was selected with the No. 32 and last pick in the first round out of Georgia. Smith was taken No. 29 in 2012 out of Notre Dame, and is entering his 11th season.

ADVERTISEMENT

It hasn’t taken Cine long to develop a bond with Smith. He said he is “soaking up information from Harry on our defense,” and also learning from him off the field.

“Other than football, we talk about life, business, his upbringing, my upbringing, and we kind of make jokes, laugh,” Cine said. “But Harry is a cool man, a cool dude, and I’m going to keep learning form him.”

From a football standpoint, Smith said at the start of training camp he likes what he has seen from Cine.

“He’s got a good head on his shoulders,” Smith said. “He’s smart. He’s got a bunch of tools.”

MORE MINNESOTA VIKINGS COVERAGE:
Pro
Entering Sunday, it was known that two players were out — quarterback Kirk Cousins, who tested positive Thursday for COVID-19, and tight end Irv Smith Jr., who is out for the entire preseason with a thumb injury.
Pro
The loss spoiled the preseason debut of head coach Kevin O’Connell, who took over after Mike Zimmer was fired after eight seasons.
Pro
The defensive lineman was an innocent victim when he was shot four times while sitting in a car
Pro
For players trying to make the team, Sunday’s preseason opener against the Raiders in Las Vegas will be big
Pro
The quarterback will miss Sunday’s preseason opener against the Raiders in Las Vegas.
Pro
It appears the backup quarterbacks will handle all the reps in Sunday’s preseason opener at Las Vegas
Pro
Head coach Kevin O’Connell unsure if the quarterback will travel to Las Vegas
Pro
The linebackers already have developed a close-knit relationship on and off the field
The former NDSU star and San Francisco starter will participate in two practices Aug. 17-18 at Minnesota's training facility but won't play against the Vikings in a Saturday, Aug. 20 exhibition game.
Pro
New leadership in Las Vegas never returned the calls of the former All-Pro quarterback

Cine also has been trying to learn as much as he can from Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection. Shortly after Cine was drafted, he appeared on the “All Things Covered” podcast Peterson hosts along with former NFL cornerback Bryant McFadden.

Cine then met Peterson when the Vikings took the field in May for spring drills.

“I look real close at P,” Cine said. “He’s a real technician, real smart with how he does things with a purpose. I might not be saying anything to him, but I’m really making sure I pay attention to him from a distance.”

Overall, Cine believes he’s making a smooth transition to the NFL.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I think I’m doing well,” he said. “I’m just using every rep I get as competition to get better and to get the guy across from me better. … I’ll tell you, this is way better than I had it in college. They treat you like a pro, and you don’t have class. I just focus on ball. I love football.”

Donatell said shortly after training camp got underway that he would continue to evaluate how to best use Cine as well as Bynum. He brought up the possibility of at times using three safeties, which would be one way to get the rookie some snaps.

“We’ve been working a whole lot of that, to get all three of us on the field and playing and contributing to the defense, so stay tuned for that,” Cine said.

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
What to read next
Pro
The Loons dealt with a steady stream of pressure, but made the most of their few opportunities to take all three points on the road.
Pro
With 49 games left in the season, the Twins now trail the Guardians by 2 ½ games in the division and are tied with the White Sox.
Pro
Zalatoris' victory in the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs gave him 2,000 Cup points and pushed him into first on the leaderboard, ahead of Scottie Scheffler, with two tournaments to go.
Pro
Silviano's two-run shot in the eighth was the winning blow in Fargo-Moorhead's win over the Dogs on Sunday at Newman Outdoor Field.