Unfortunately, a tough season continues for Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney. During last week’s matchup against the New England Patriots, the third-year wideout was responsible for yet another dropped pass, which deflected right into the hands of Patriots’ linebacker Jahlani Tavai for a costly interception.
The play gave New England the ball deep in Chiefs territory — a mistake that led to this viral reaction from quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
This was Patrick Mahomes' reaction after Kadarius Toney dropped a pass that ended up being picked off by the Patriots. pic.twitter.com/lYA3DqB02H— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 17, 2023
After Thursday’s practice, the Chiefs’ quarterback clarified that his frustrations were not with Toney. Instead, he explained that his reaction was more towards the situation on the field as opposed to the mistake of his young wide receiver.
“I think in that moment I was frustrated at just the interception and giving the defense a short field,” Mahomes admitted. “I mean the defense was playing so well in that second half especially, and I knew in that moment of the game you don’t want to have turnovers and stuff like that. You want to either score obviously first goal, but second goal is to flip the field and let our defense play. So, I’m getting that turnover and getting them into a position where they’re basically up to one play, touchdown or whatever that was. That’s on us as an offense.
“So, there’s no added frustration towards any player. I know how hard these guys work. I’ve said it all year long. I see how they practice. I see how they work after practice, before practice, and I know that they’re doing everything they can to help the team out in the best way possible. They always know that I’m going to have that confidence in them, and I’m going to keep firing the ball to them. That’s just how I roll. Whenever I see the guy put in the work every single day, then I have trust that he’s going to go out there and make the plays happen. So the frustration was just over the whole situation, not necessarily directed at one person or the other.”
While making sure to not single out Toney specifically, head coach Andy Reid acknowledged the issues stemming from some of his younger players. He wisely advised them to use those mistakes as an opportunity to grow and not dwell on the opinions of others.
“If you’re young and you take a little step back, then you have a chance to take steps forward,” Reid explained. “That’s how it goes. You’re going to have ups and downs in this business. It’s a pretty tough sport, and there are a lot of people that are going to put their opinion out there. On the coaches and the players, everybody’s got opinions but you got to keep working.”
Mahomes knows how critical the play of his receivers will be at this point in the season, especially with a chance to clinch their eighth consecutive AFC West title on the line this Monday. He maintains that spirits remain high amongst the wide receiving unit. The combination of that plus the work he sees them put in every day at practice gives him the confidence to keep throwing their way come game day.
“I think they look confident,” Mahomes observed. “I mean they joke around; they’re having fun at practice, they’re working their tail off. They understand they want to be better. I mean, everybody does. We want to be the best that we possibly can be. But at the same time, I know those guys are going to make plays, and I’ve seen them make plays on the biggest stage. So, I know that they have the confidence and know that they believe in themselves as much as I believe in them.”