Slot Receivers


Slot receivers are a crucial part of any team’s offense. They typically line up a few yards behind the line of scrimmage and can do everything that a wide receiver can, plus some things that an outside receiver can’t do. This makes them a threat to do just about anything on the field.

They line up in a spot where they’re in between the last offensive tackle and the wide receiver split out to that end of the formation. They don’t have to deal crushing blocks like offensive linemen do, but they still need to position themselves well enough to protect the quarterback from big hits.

Traditionally, slot receivers have been viewed as a bit slower and smaller than traditional wide receivers. Despite that, they are often considered to have some of the best route-running skills in the game. They can run routes to the inside and outside, as well as deep, short, and vertical.

The slot receiver is also often asked to carry the ball as a running back from time to time, a position that he often excels at. They’re able to quickly outrun the defense and gain a lot of yardage when they’re asked to carry the ball.

A slot receiver’s primary role is to run routes and make plays for the quarterback. He needs to be a fast receiver with great hands, and he has to have top-notch route-running abilities.

He also needs to be strong and tough, so he can take hits from the defense without breaking down. He has to be a good blocker, too, so he can protect the running back from blitzes and defenders.

They are often called on to block for the running back, as they’re in a good spot on the field that provides protection on run plays and slants. They also play a key role in pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds.

Slot players are a huge part of the game’s history. Coaches in the early days of the NFL, such as Sid Gillman, would create slots for their wide receivers to run out of. This strategy allowed the receivers to attack all levels of the defense, including the line of scrimmage, linebackers, and secondary players.

Since then, slot receivers have become more and more important in the game. In recent seasons, they’ve been targeted on nearly 40 percent of passing attempts.

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