By CJ Carlson
Rob Gronkowski Puts Kadarius Toney On Blast
Rob Gronkowski knows what it takes to win football games at a high level. I mean, the guy played with Tom Brady. Most recently, the legendary tight end has turned his attention towards the Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney. And let me tell you, it certainly wasn’t good attention.
Gronk was asked about the growing number of mistakes that Toney was making on the Chiefs, and his response was awfully blunt. He said, “Kadarius Toney is an athletic freak. He can run routes like no other. He can return punts. But, when you’re making costly mistakes like that, in and out, I mean from the beginning of the season to the middle of the season, throughout your whole career, it’s kind of like you don’t love the game of football.” While this sounds dramatic, it’s not surprising given that the New York Giants felt the exact same way about Toney when he was drafted.
Gronk Isn’t The Only One To Question His Commitment
The Giants weren’t sure if Toney was fully committed to the team after drafting him, and there’s a reason that they shipped him away rather quickly into his professional career. He’s becoming known for drops, mistakes, and errors that can all be avoidable.
Gronk added to his statement by saying, “Those mistakes that he’s making should have been corrected after the first time. If you love the game of football, you go back to the locker room, you take accountability of it all, you go hit the practice field and you make sure you look that ball in, catch it, tuck it, and secure that ball well. That’s what you do if you love football, and you don’t make that mistake again. But when you keep making mistakes like that, you must not be that much into the game, and you must not love the game.”
Many believed that Toney could genuinely be a top option in the Chiefs passing offense in 2023. They had moved on from Juju Smith-Schuster and didn’t really add any other big names. They drafted Rashee Rice, though it wasn’t a large enough move to consider Toney a non-factor. Through 13 games this year, Toney has produced just 27 receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown.
Last year, he had just 14 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Those were the seven games with the Chiefs he played in, as he started that campaign with the New York Giants. Through two games with them, he had three targets and no receptions. Then, dating back to his first year in the NFL, he had 10 games with the Giants and caught 39 balls for 420 yards without a touchdown.
Toney Hasn’t Taken That Leap
Since his first season in the league, he’s regressed statistically. It’s a shame that we haven’t seen him take that next step, and there’s a genuine thought that he might never do so.
Thankfully for both him and the Chiefs, they are still in playoff positioning. This team has a 9-5 record, finding themselves right in the middle of the AFC playoff race. If they win out, you’ll expect to see a home playoff game from them. It will likely be in the Wild Card round as opposed to the Divisional, though a home playoff game is still very much appreciated regardless of when it is.
Toney has a few more weeks of the regular season to prove that he can be a contributor rather than a negative factor. The next opportunity comes on Christmas Day against the 6-8 Las Vegas Raiders, a division rival.