kadarius toney giants
Syndication: The Record

Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey doesn’t perceive Kadarius Toney differently just because he’s a first-rounder.

The Giants could utilize Kadarius Toney in various ways moving forward.

The speed, athleticism, elusiveness, and versatility should allow that to be the case.

But that doesn’t mean any single role will be handed to him. Toney must earn everything that could be provided, whether that’s on the offensive side of the ball or even on special teams, a unit led by Thomas McGaughey.

“Kadarius is just like the rest of these rookies — he’s got to earn his way,” the Big Blue special teams coordinator said Thursday. “He’s no different than a rookie free agent out of Georgia Southern…he’s got to earn his way, he’s got to earn our trust, he’s got to earn his teammates’ trust, and that’s just the reality of the situation. Nobody’s going to come in here and be given anything, you’re going to earn everything.”

Toney is slated to be the Giants’ slot receiver and probably the No. 2 target behind free-agent acquisition Kenny Golladay.

But thanks to the aforementioned qualities, he could additionally find himself as a return specialist.

Toney only returned 15 kicks and 13 punts during his collegiate days at the University of Florida, so he doesn’t possess the greatest experience in this area. Regardless, him assuming that type of role is a sheer possibility and one that may intrigue the coaching staff.

The work still needs to be put in, however.

“He has speed, he has quickness, all those things,” McGaughey said when asked about his returner-like qualities. “But this ain’t the swamp, this is the Meadowlands.”

Toney is currently experiencing a ramp-up period in training camp following his recent stint on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

The coaching staff will receive its initial glimpse of him in an actual game setting at the professional level when the team takes on the Jets in its first preseason game Saturday, Aug. 14. It’s unclear how the staff will be utilizing Kadarius during that matchup and the true amount of playing time it will be providing him.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.