The Slot Receiver in the NFL
The slot is a position in the NFL where a receiver lines up just inside the wide receiver position, and a step or two off of the line of scrimmage. The slot receiver is a crucial part of the offensive playbook, and is often the best receiving option for quarterbacks. In this article, we’ll take a look at what makes a great slot receiver, how they differ from outside wideouts, and how to develop the skills required for this important position.
The term “slot” can also refer to an allocated time or place for a scheduled flight, as authorized by an airport or air-traffic controller:
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A good slot receiver must have excellent route running skills and excellent chemistry with the quarterback, which can help them become big-play threats. In addition, they must be able to block well, as they are often responsible for blocking nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and safeties on running plays. Depending on their pre-snap alignment, they may also be asked to chip or back block defensive ends. Lastly, slot receivers need to be able to run all routes, but excel at the inside and outside, short and deep. This is why they need to be extra speedy and have top-notch route-running abilities. It is also why they need to be incredibly precise with their timing. The more they perfect these things, the better.