Slot Receivers in the NFL
Slot is an American word, which refers to the position of a receiver in a football team’s three-wide-receiver formation. This formation originated in the 1960s with Oakland Raiders coach John Davis, who wanted to give his receivers more speed, hands, and accuracy on routes.
A slot receiver typically lines up a few steps off the line of scrimmage, giving him more room to move than other wide receivers. They’re also able to use their speed to get outside of their defenders. They can be fast enough to run deep, short, and wide routes, depending on the quarterback’s playcalling.
The slot receiver’s route-running skills are a major strength, especially when he has to run a variety of routes for different plays. He’ll need to be able to read the defense, know when to move in space to make the best catch, and know when to blitz to pick up extra blocks.
He’ll have to be tough enough to absorb contact and quick enough to break past a blitzing defense. He’ll also need to be able to block on running plays.
In recent seasons, slot receivers have become much more common. They can be a valuable asset in the NFL, as they can be used to pick up blitzes and provide protection for their team’s running backs and wide receivers.
They’re also a key part of sealing off the outside. On running plays designed to the outside of the field, they’re often needed to block nickelbacks and outside linebackers, as well as safeties.
Some teams, like the Buccaneers and Chiefs, rely heavily on slot receivers in their offenses. Others, such as the Dolphins, only utilize them from time to time.
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