clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Eric Bieniemy says ‘new environment’ has uplifted Kadarius Toney

Toney is seeing much more success in Kansas City than he did in New York.

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

You're not alone if you've been impressed by what you've seen from Kadarius Toney in his first two months with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy have found ways to manufacture touches for Toney in what's been a limited offensive role so far. But the second-year receiver has made the most of it, averaging over 12 yards per touch and scoring three touchdowns in just seven games with the Chiefs.

When asked why the coaching staff is so high on Toney, Bieniemy became effusive in his praise of the former first-round pick.

"Well, first of all, he's a tremendous, athletic kid," said the offensive coordinator. "He works at it. He has fun. He's very, very intelligent. Every time he's out there, he's trying to make something happen. On top of that, he loves the game. You can tell by his intensity in the classroom.

"And then just the feedback that you get from him. The kid is very smart and intelligent. He loves the game. And I think just being in a new environment has uplifted him and is raising his game to another level."

It was uncertain how much of an impact Toney would make on the Chiefs this year. When Kansas City acquired Toney from the New York Giants on October 27, Toney had played in just two games and had recorded just two catches for exactly 0 yards this season.

Two weeks later, he had his "Welcome to Kansas City" game, accounting for 90 yards from scrimmage on six touches, and recorded his first career touchdown against, yes: the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A hamstring injury kept Toney sidelined for a few weeks, and his usage has been spotty from week to week. However, Toney finished the season strong, scoring two touchdowns in the team's final three games.

As he continues to get comfortable in the new offense, his coach appreciates how Toney has elevated the receiver room.

"We're enjoying him," Bieniemy said. "We're enjoying the process. He's enjoying the process. And the fun part has been watching all those guys interact. The chemistry has just been outstanding."

Did Toney just need a fresh start? Was New York simply not a good fit for him? Why couldn't the Giants find a way to tap into his potential?

Bieniemy and the Chiefs probably don't care about finding answers to those questions. They now have another young, talented weapon at their disposal, who continues to earn their trust with each passing game.

Toney, meanwhile, seems like he's right at home in Kansas City.

"He's smiling. He's happy. He's enthused — just his body language stepping into the building every single day. That's what we talk about: creating that energy."

Thanksgiving deal: Save 20% on APP!

Use promo code GOCHIEFS20 to save 20% on your first year of Arrowhead Pride Premier. Sign up today for exclusive game analysis, subscriber-only videos, and much more on the Chiefs journey to back-to-back.