Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney Addresses Dreadful Week 1 Performance

Kadarius Toney

Getty Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney as the ball deflects off his hands for an interception.

Going into the 2023 campaign, the Kansas City Chiefs were very honest about a plan to feature Kadarius Toney as a key pass-catcher for Patrick Mahomes II.

In Week 1, that plan blew up in their face as the former New York Giants first-round selection was practically responsible for the loss — with three charged drops and one interception for a touchdown that deflected off his hands. To make matters worse, Toney then skipped his postgame press conference and spent the following Sunday night trash-talking Giants fans on social media, displaying a lack of maturity in the process.

That downward cycle finally ended on September 13. In a surprise press conference ahead of Week 2, Toney addressed the KC media and his message was accountability.

“I look at it how I told the coach, how I told Pat [Mahomes], all the guys, that’s on me,” Toney told reporters when asked about the primetime outing and the aftermath. “Y’all count on me and rely on me to make certain plays, and I gotta be there to do that.”

“There ain’t really no excuse, nothing [I] can blame it on,” the playmaker added.

Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney Plans to ‘Put the Work In’ Until Drop Issues Are Solved

About his drops in particular, Toney implied that the only solution is hard work.

“I just gotta put the work in,” he stated, “hard work. Spend 30 minutes — an hour after practice catching JUGS [machine], catching from the quarterback, whatever I gotta do. Then I gotta make sure I show up when it’s time.”

Toney also noted that he’s thinking positively and trying not to dwell on the past.

“I just gotta go put the work in,” he reiterated later. “There ain’t really too much talk from me left.”

As for his ongoing feud with Giants fans on social media, Toney brushed it off as something he “don’t really care about.” When a reporter followed up, using the word “obsession,” the wideout chuckled to himself and said, “it’s not an obsession.”

“They troll me, I troll them back,” he replied. “Like I said, I’m just focused on what I got going on, I’m not sweating that.”

Chiefs HC Andy Reid’s Message to Kadarius Toney

Later in the press conference, Toney was asked about his conversations with head coach Andy Reid. The wide receiver relayed the following message from Big Red.

“Just settle down,” Toney shared. “Just be the person I am. Never try to overdo or overstep what I normally do, you know what I’m saying? Don’t try to be a superhero. Like I said, just make plays when it’s time to make them.”

He also voiced that he “appreciates” how Mahomes and Reid have supported him throughout his struggles.

Since the game, Coach Reid took responsibility for rushing Toney back from injury, citing his lack of training camp and preseason reps. Mahomes also defended the dynamic pass-catcher after the loss, expressing that he still has “trust” in him.

Unless a move is made, the Chiefs need receivers to step up around their quarterback in 2023, and no player is more important than Toney. Out of the entire Kansas City WR corps, there are only three former premium draft picks and one first-round talent.

Those players are Skyy Moore, rookie Rashee Rice and Toney — who was drafted 20th overall. Whether fans like it or not, this trio will be important both this season and in the future.

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