The Kansas City Chiefs (officially) have a new punt returner.
This was thought to be the case after new Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney was the man back for every punt against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10. But while speaking to the media on Thursday, special teams coordinator Dave Toub confirmed the change from rookie Skyy Moore.
Toney was only able to try for a return on two of the Jaguars’ six punts, averaging 5.5 yards per return.
“I can’t wait to see him get a ball kicked to him,” said Toub of Toney. “We haven’t had that option, really. [The Jaguars] did a good job last week of using the sidelines and hanging the ball up pretty good. Sooner or later, he’s going to get one kicked to him and we’re going to find out what he’s got. But I got a pretty good feeling about it, though.”
Toney has the advantage of having returned punts as a college football player at Florida, which is experience Moore has not had.
Toub also said that he likes how Toney is very courageous — and sometimes, perhaps too courageous. While Toub likes aggression in a returner, he acknowledged the Chiefs need to “pull him back a little bit.”
“He’s got to do a little bit better with some reads, but that’s part of the learning experience,” said Toub. “He’s young — and he’s going to get better and better. He’s something with the ball in his hands.”
The last line from Toub is something offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and the offensive coaching staff have realized, too. In just his second game with Kansas City, Toney broke out for four catches, 57 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s a great kid,” said Bieniemy. “He’s an outstanding kid. He’s an outstanding worker. The kid is very, very intelligent. Our job is to make sure that we’re not providing too much information to him and exhausting him to [where] he doesn’t know what to do. We just want to continue to bring him along — [while] making sure that he can make the necessary progress that he needs to make. But I thought last week, he played good. He did a heck of a job.
“He’s doing a great job of mixing in with the guys. The chemistry seems to be going in the right direction. Any time someone has an opportunity [for a] change [of scenery] in this league, sometimes the change can be very, very good for you — and so far, so good.”
Now that he’s been named as Kansas City’s new punt returner — along with injuries to wide receivers Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster — Toney should get quite a bit of work against the Los Angeles Chargers.
If his first two outings were any indication, Toney should be someone to watch on Sunday night.