A slot is a narrow, elongated depression, groove, notch, or aperture in which something can be received. It is often used in colloquial speech to describe a particular position or sequence in a series of events.
The slot is also used to refer to a specific position in a game of football, especially the receiver’s slot. In recent years, teams have increasingly relied on slot receivers as a way to take advantage of their speed and ability to catch the ball quickly.
They may be positioned in front of the quarterback for pitch plays, reverses, or end-arounds. On these types of plays, they will be called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback. This means they have to be fast and accurate with their timing in order to make it past defenders and to the quarterback’s sideline.
Route running: A great slot receiver has the ability to run all sorts of routes, from slants and deep crossing patterns to short and quick routes in the flats. They also need to have good chemistry with the quarterback and know exactly when and how to react.
Blocking: Because they line up close to the center of the field, slot receivers have to be more advanced in their blocking skills than most outside receivers do. They will need to be able to block nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and safeties. In addition, they will need to block for the running back and wideouts on running plays designed to take advantage of the slot receiver’s speed.
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