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Matt Nagy describes what makes Kadarius Toney a No. 1 receiver

Nagy: “He’s super talented with the football in his hands.”

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

One of the questions the Kansas City Chiefs will have to answer if they intend to repeat as Super Bowl champions is how to replace the production of wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who joined the New England Patriots this offseason.

In his one year with the Chiefs, Smith-Schuster was quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ top target (101) after tight end Travis Kelce (152), catching 78 passes for 933 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season.

“JuJu did such a great job last year coming in, learning the system,” said Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy on Thursday following Day 6 of OTAs. “In general, those new guys last year — working through the timing element of the routes. And I think he did such a great job that you could see it click with Pat really toward the end of training camp and then taking it into the season.”

The receiver was a pivotal part of Kansas City’s Super Bowl LVII comeback win over the Philadelphia Eagles, as Mahomes connected with Smith-Schuster six times for 48 yards in the second half. Smith-Schuster drew a holding call on cornerback James Bradberry that set the Chiefs up for their victory.

“He had a great feel, just kind of understanding the offense,” added Nagy. “He has some good experience, so we understand that and wish him the best, but at the same point and time, we love our wide receiver room right now.

“The guys are competing, and it’s at a point right now that is always fun where there’s new guys that come in from other places — or rookies — for them to learn who Pat is and the other quarterbacks and work through that cohesion.

“JuJu [was] a great player, but we got a lot of great guys here we like, too.”

The one member of the Chiefs’ room who has seen the most national hype this offseason is wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who the team likes as a potential No. 1 receiver to replace Smith-Schuster. Following a midseason trade from the New York Giants, Toney fought off injuries to appear in seven regular-season games for the Chiefs in 2022, finishing with 14 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

Like Smith-Schuster, Toney played a crucial role in Kansas City’s championship win, scoring the fourth-quarter, 5-yard go-ahead touchdown before running a punt back 65 yards to bring the Chiefs to the doorstep of the end zone. Had he scored a touchdown on the punt return, Toney might have been named Super Bowl MVP.

“We all see what he can do when the football’s in his hands,” explained Nagy of Toney, who did not participate in the Thursday workout. “Same type of deal (as Smith-Schuster). He comes over halfway through the season — it’s a whole new offense. He’s got to learn the ins and outs, and so you have that point. He was able to do that, and it’s exciting now for us to be able to take that to Year 2 and build that relationship with Pat.

“He’s super talented with the football in his hands, and he’s been that way his entire life in his football career.”

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