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Kadarius Toney unjustly missed the Giants’ voluntary practice session

It’s not a big deal. But it’s more than no deal.

Everyone seems to want it their own way when it comes to judging the awfulness or triviality of Kadarius Toney, who has so far chosen not to participate in the Giants’ offseason training program.

In retrospect: Phase 1 consisted of two weeks, which consisted mainly of strength and conditioning, but also the distribution of the new playbooks. There was a three-day mini-camp this week, ending Thursday, with drills and teamwork on the field, including seven-on-seven offense versus defense. No pads and no contact, of course, but plenty of competitive situations.

This is all voluntary, meaning no one can be fined, penalized or tacitly reprimanded for not showing up. Toney, who is entering his second NFL season, is not there.

Before anyone rises high and shouts for player rights or gets upset that a 23-year-old is turning his back on his team, how about a little common sense?

Anyone who’s ever made a dime in the workforce knows – or should know – the dynamics and politics of life as an employee. Sometimes (often) you have to do things you’d rather not do. Sometimes what is asked of you does not seem fair. Sometimes (often) you think you know a better way to do it than the boss is telling you. Sometimes you find that showing up exactly on time gets you nowhere, so make an effort to arrive a few minutes ahead of your colleagues. Sometimes you play it smart when it comes to advancing and do more than is required in hopes of getting a few positive ticks later.

Although the workouts are optional, Kadarius sent Toney the wrong signal by missing them, writes The Post's Paul Schwartz.
Although the workouts are optional, Kadarius sent Toney the wrong signal by missing them, writes The Post’s Paul Schwartz.
Getty Images

And sometimes, with new people running the office, you try to do whatever it takes to get a foothold and make a strong first impression.

There are no doomsday proclamations here, but Toney not attending minicamp this week is not a good thing for him or the Giants. Only a handful of players didn’t take part, and not all circumstances are equal. Apparently, Toney doesn’t think it’s on him to curry favor with Brian Daboll and the new coaching staff at this particular time

“I feel like it’s very myopic,” Amani Toomer, the leading receiver in Giants history, told The Post on Thursday. “Especially with a new coach and a whole new team. I’d tell him, ‘Put your butt in.’ … I wouldn’t say, ‘Butt in.’ … I would say, ‘I think it’s a great idea for you to get to know everyone around you so that not only do you feel comfortable around them, but they also feel comfortable around you.’ You don’t want people’s minds racing and wondering where your mind is.”

While he played for the Giants, Toomer’s high-profile teammates Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey did not show up to the offseason regime. The Giants wanted these players around but knew they would be in shape and ready when they arrived.

“If you’re a veteran and you know the system and you know everything, you don’t have to show up,” Toomer said. “Toney is not a veteran. He still doesn’t know how to play in this league. Someone who says, “Dude, relax, that’s optional,” the NFL doesn’t understand. Nothing is optional. It is voluntary that you go out there every day and prove what you can do.”

For those pointing to Daboll’s lukewarm reaction to Toney’s absence as evidence that the head coach’s freshman year is cool with that no-show, forget it. He emphasized more than once, “This is a voluntary camp,” but he wouldn’t deny the importance of what’s happening at the team’s facility.

Giants receiver Kadarius Toney
Kadarius Toney
NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg

When club officials deviate from this rhetoric, they are put down. Two years ago, the NFL sent a letter to Tom Coughlin, then the Jaguars’ executive vice president of football operations, warning him not to do so. Coughlin’s indiscretion? He said he was disappointed that not every player took part in the off-season training program. At the time, the only two Jaguars players not in attendance were star cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Tevin Smith.

“Those who have been given everything become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the true values ​​of the ‘team,'” Coughlin, the former Super Bowl-winning Giants coach, said at the time. “It’s not about rights and privileges. It’s about duty and responsibility, and the question is, ‘Can we count on you?’ ”

The Giants don’t know if they can count on Toney. His rookie season was turbulent – he was injured too many times and hardly contained teasing about his immense physical abilities. When he feels the need to take a quantum leap forward, staying away from the team is an unusual way to express those feelings. All of this could become obsolete in a few months if Toney kills it at boot camp. But for the here and now, he doesn’t help himself or his team.

“If that thing goes down and people start turning against you, don’t say, ‘I didn’t know, why are they being so mean to me?’ ‘ Tomer said. “You really don’t give yourself any leeway.

“The bottom line is that I’m there every day when I have a new coach.”

Bottom line: Toney wasn’t there on any day.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/21/kadarius-toney-wrong-to-miss-giants-voluntary-workouts/ Kadarius Toney unjustly missed the Giants’ voluntary practice session

JOE HERNANDEZ

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