As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football, an emerging story is what role wide receiver Kadarius Toney may play in his first game in red and gold. The New York Giants traded Toney to the Chiefs on October 27.
His early efforts have met with approval from the Chiefs’ coaching staff.
“He’s been great for the two or three days that he’s been here so far,” Chiefs wide receivers coach Joe Bleymaier said before Thursday’s practice. “He’s picking everything up. Super good memory retention — we had heard he was smart. He’s demonstrating that [in the] classroom side of it. It’s been very impressive — [he’s] very intelligent. Now it’s just a matter of translating that on the practice field. [Thursday] was good — today will be another day — and we’ll just keep stacking him.”
Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy echoed Bleymaier’s statements in his own remarks, though he cautioned that Toney has had very little time to work with quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“I thought the kid did a good job,” Bieniemy stated. “Obviously, we’re not going to exhaust him. The kid’s a very good football player. We just want to make sure he can mix in with our guys because we have some good players that are doing a very good job. We want the chemistry to work.
“We’ve still got to get some timing up with Pat. As far as a football player, the kid’s a heck of a player. The kid’s a very, very smart kid. We just want him to fit in our culture and basically understand what we do — and then put him in position to have an opportunity to be his best.”
Bleymaier is excited to see what Toney can do with the ball in his hands, whenever that opportunity comes.
“He’s got just this explosive knack — especially with the ball,” the receivers coach observed. “We’ve got guys that have that — his is just an additional layer to that. I wouldn’t know for sure what he has that other people don’t — but he definitely has talents. He’s displayed them in the league last year, this year, and as far back to college. It’s just a matter of complimenting him in roles with the other guys on the field and the scheme against the defense that we’re seeing.”
Displaying those talents at the University of Florida long had Toney on his new team’s radar.
“He came out a couple of years ago, so we had an opportunity to see him because he was one of the more higher-rated receivers,” Bieniemy recalled. “So we had an idea of who he was as a player. Obviously, the kid is a very talented kid. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out in New York. We’re hoping that a change of address is good for this kid.”
After being selected with the 20th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Toney’s career with the Giants was marred by frequent injuries and rumored issues with multiple coaching staffs. Bieniemy was adamant that the second-year pro will find a clean slate in Kansas City.
He also pledged that the team would not force the new weapon into a role before he is ready.
“The kid is a very, very good kid,” the longtime Chiefs coach declared. “Obviously, whatever was said out there in New York — that was said out there in New York. This kid’s a part of our family now. Our receiver room has accepted him, our team has accepted him, and we’re going to do whatever we can to make sure he feels comfortable and confident in anything that he can do to help us to be at our best.
“A part of that is just making sure that he’s ok. We don’t want to rush the kid into anything. We want to make sure that he’s good with our language — and how we do things. On top of that, we’ve got a good group of receivers — we’ve got a good group of players on offense — who are doing a heck of a job of teaching him. It’s about the chemistry — doing what’s best for us.”