Slot Receivers in the NFL


The slot is the area of the field between a team’s two outside wide receivers and just behind the line of scrimmage. It’s a position that requires an exceptional combination of speed, route running skills, and blocking ability. Some of the most prolific receivers in the NFL are in the slot, and teams that have multiple players filling this role can be difficult to defend.

Despite being smaller and slower than outside wide receivers, slot receivers must be very fast in order to run precise routes against tight coverage. They must also have top-notch route-running skills, and they typically excel at running short, intermediate, and deep routes. They also block for the running back or wideout on running plays, and they’re often responsible for picking up blitzes from linebackers and secondary players.

As a result, slot receivers are frequently called upon to play some running back responsibilities. This often happens on pitch and end-around plays, where the quarterback will hand the ball to a slot receiver after calling them into pre-snap motion. Slot receivers are also important blockers on outside run plays, giving the ball carrier more space to work in.

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