What Is a Slot Receiver in the NFL?
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Definition of a Slot Receiver
A receiver that lines up in the slot area, also known as the “slot” is a unique and special player in the NFL. They can do things that wide receivers cannot, making them an essential part of any football team’s offense.
The slot receiver’s primary role is to catch the ball, but he can also do other things that help the team win in the air and on the ground. He may carry the ball like a running back, or act as a blocker for another receiver, just to name a few of his responsibilities.
He needs to have speed, great hands, and strong awareness of the field in order to be successful as a slot receiver. He should also have advanced blocking skills, more so than outside receivers, so he can help out in the run game.
Because of their pre-snap motion and speedy skills, they can be called into action on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. This is because they will be able to get to the open field before the ball is snapped by the quarterback. This can give them plenty of time to get ahead of the defense and make a great catch, so they’re an important weapon for any team’s offense.
In addition to catching the ball, they’re often given routes to run by the quarterback and they must be able to run them well. They can run in-breaking routes, which are short and fast, or fly routes, which are longer and more difficult.
They can also be used as a decoy, which is when they are positioned to catch the ball from a running back or wide receiver in the backfield. They will often get a head start in this situation, and will then be able to move to the sideline and snag the ball for a big gain.
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