Slot Receivers in the NFL
Slot is the term used to describe the position of a receiver on an NFL offense. While they may share many of the same responsibilities as outside receivers, there are also some distinct traits that slot players must possess. They must be able to run routes, have good chemistry with the quarterback, and block for other receivers as well. They must also be fast enough to get open on running plays. The more a slot receiver can do, the more valuable they are to the team.
Route Running – Slot Receivers are expected to run just about every route in the book. They need to perfect these routes, and they must be precise with their timing. They also need to be able to read coverage and adjust their routes accordingly. This is why having good chemistry with the quarterback is so important for a slot receiver.
Blocking – Since they don’t usually have a fullback or extra tight end to help them out, Slot Receivers are often asked to block on run plays. They need to be able to pick up blitzes from linebackers and secondary players, and they must be able to protect the ball carrier on outside run plays such as slants and sweeps.
Slot Receivers also need to be able to act as a running back from time to time, especially on pitch plays and reverses. They will often be called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback, and they must be able to use their speed to get open on the backfield for these runs. They will also need to be able to take on tough tackles in the middle of the field.
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