Slot Receivers in the NFL


The slot is a position in the offense where the receiver lines up slightly off of the line of scrimmage. The slot is a good place for speedy receivers to run shorter routes on the route tree, such as slants and quick outs. Slot receivers are becoming more prominent in the NFL, especially with teams using more three-receiver/back formations. They are also important for teams that want to stretch the defense vertically through their speed and quickness.

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Generally speaking, Slot receivers are smaller and quicker than traditional wide receivers. They are also very versatile and capable of running a variety of routes. They are often used as the go-to receiver for short, quick passing plays. For example, they are excellent at running slant and out routes, which require them to break off of press coverage and catch the ball at the second level of the defense.

Another key aspect of Slot receivers is their ability to block. Because they usually line up closer to the defensive backs, Slot receivers must be able to block nickelbacks, outside linebackers and safeties effectively. They also need to be able to chip blocks against defensive ends on running plays that move the ball towards the outside of the field.

In addition to their blocking abilities, Slot receivers are sometimes asked to carry the ball like a running back on pitch and reverse plays. This requires them to have a solid understanding of the play call and the ability to quickly change directions.

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