Every football team’s goal is to get its first-round draft pick on the field in Week 1, contributing to the team efforts.
For the Giants, getting their first-rounder, receiver Kadarius Toney, on the field has been a challenge, thanks to various issues. These issues, which have cost him valuable training camp practice time combined with Toney's relatively newness in playing the receiver position in the largest media market, have all made for a bumpy ride to start his career.
Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey has, in the past, spoke about developing trust with Toney and all the new players regarding their dependability and ability to execute the plays being drawn up. That sentiment is shared by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who pointed to the lack of practice time Toney had this summer as a factor in the receiver’s slow indoctrination to the NFL.
“Kadarius hasn’t played a lot of football for us, yet. He missed the spring. He missed most of training camp. He practiced about three days before the season started, so he’s a young player who’s learning,” said offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
“Receivers, it takes them a little time to transition into the NFL. We all know that. I would say, in general, college receivers when they’re coming into the NFL, there’s a whole repertoire of routes that they haven’t been exposed to, so he’s in that process. It’s not unique to him or to us, that’s just the nature of things.”
Then there is a matter of maturity, which has also come into question given Toney’s social media outbursts, which he insisted this week had nothing to do with the Giants despite the curious timing of the posts.
Toney, for his part, has come ready to work. Wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert spoke glowingly earlier this month about how sharp the receiver has been in the classroom with learning the assignments and has, in a way, been a teacher’s pet given how well prepared he has been. But knowing what to do and doing it has been two very different challenges, the act of actually doing it being a challenge for Toney, who, through two games, has two receptions for minus-2 yards.
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Despite that unimpressive production, Toney believes he’s making progress.
“I mean every day I wake up with football on my mind,” he said. “I don’t really know what to tell you. If you all don’t see the progression or whatever coming along by now, I guess you all won’t ever see it.”
Garrett agreed the progress is there but added that consistency needs to follow.
“The biggest thing with him is practicing day in and day out and developing some consistency. No fault of his, he’s just been hurt and been sick and has been dealing with some different things,” he said.
“He’s done a good job here lately continuing to work in practice. He’s continued to develop the trust that coaches and quarterbacks have in him and just continue to grow. You said it, he played some more snaps in the game the other day. He did a good job with his work. He just has to keep doing that.”
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