We have all been reading the drama about our rookie WR, Kadarius Toney. He's had pretty much zero impact. When they have tried to get the ball to him on gadget plays, the fact that he's got no other role yet gives away the call. It seems so obvious when you put it down in black and white, doesn't it? Hot takes have been bouncing around the click-o-sphere. But there's more to the situation.
Unlike most wideouts taken in the first round, Toney wasn't drafted to be the immediate WR1. Counting the high priced FA we signed for that role, we have three solid veteran WRs, so the rookie has to start behind them all on the depth chart. Shepard is playing lights out, so the obvious slot role for Toney isn't there. Slayton is DJ's buddy, and if he catches the ball, he's dangerous. (Maybe he should try a different brand of gloves?) Both of them played in the offense, with Jones, last season, and are building on that.
Golladay is a factor in this, too. The lack of camp practice time applies to him as well as Toney, and he's new to the offense as well. We're still seeing pieces about his sideline outburst, and it's a week later. Drama, drama, drama, or as Billy Shakes would have titled it, "Much Ado About Nothing."
Here's the thing: the coaching staff has a limited amount of time on the practice field to work with the players. If they have to teach the offense to a high priced FA veteran brought in to be the WR1 and to a rookie, no matter what round he was drafted in, they must get the WR1 up to speed first. It's obvious, as of last Thursday night, that there's still a lot of work to be done there. Add to that the factor that, as Toney as said all along, he is still learning the WR position after coming up as a QB.
We have five wideouts on the active roster and four more on the PS. That's nine guys in the room for the coach to work with, and most of them were on the practice field a bunch all summer. The staff has to keep the entire position group prepared and improving, and that's not trivial. They can lean on that a bit to get one player up to speed, but it's a whole lot harder to do that for two players. The learning part is on top of the team wide game plan install for each week.
It seems like a simple issue, but it's complicated.
I would not expect to see much from Toney until Golladay is an effective part of the offense. The veteran just needs to finish learning the offense and meshing with the QB, while the rookie has to do all of that, and more. It's going to be a longer process, and there are only so many practice hours in the week.
Patience, BBV. It's almost as short-supplied as offensive tackles in the NFL, but there it is.
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