Trae Waynes’ preseason debut was one to forget, and that’s how his second preseason game started. However, upon further review, the 40-yard reception he gave up to Vincent Jackson might not have been all his fault.
Waynes, the first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings, took over for veteran Terence Newman in the third defensive series for the Minnesota Vikings and on the third play of that drive rookie quarterback Jameis Winston found Jackson behind Waynes for a 40-yard completion on third-and-14.
“I’ve just got to be more disciplined in my technique,” Waynes said.
But head coach Mike Zimmer indicated that Waynes was supposed to have help on the deep post.
“He’s still continuing to learn. He’s got some things to work on. He obviously got beat on the post,” Zimmer said. “I didn’t see the play, but he should have had help. So he’s going to have to continue to get better and keep fighting and getting practice.”
Despite that post-game revelation, Waynes took on the responsibility.
“Obviously I’m not where I want to be, so hopefully I made improvements from last game and I continue to do that,” Waynes said.
In his first preseason outing, Waynes ended up with three penalties, two for defensive holding and one for pass interference. On Saturday night, he gave up two passes that covered 57 yards in one series, but he settled down after that and didn’t have any penalties.
Working on his hands was an emphasis this past week, he said.
“It was a big thing and it’s something I got better at through practice,” Waynes said. “As the game went on, there was more things I noticed I had to get better on.”
While Zimmer seemed to believe that Waynes made improvements, he said there is an overall focus on his techniques, not just working on his hands.
“This is the best, best deal for young guys to get a chance to go up against receivers like they’ve got,” Zimmer said. “(Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson), those are two pretty good receivers, so those are the kinds of guys you need to go up against and find out what you need to do to get better.”
Waynes said the speed of the NFL game isn’t a big adjustment, but the mental part of the game has been. He’s been moved around from outside cornerback to nickel cornerback during training camp and that continues from series to series, and even play to play, during the preseason games.
“It’s two different positions and you do two different things,” he said. “They’re completely different, so know one position and then back to the next, just being mentally prepared.
“Just through practicing, coaching, it’s become a lot easier.”