A position in a group, series, or sequence. In football, the slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up pre-snap between the last man on the line of scrimmage (often a tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside receiver. He typically plays the deepest of routes, and needs to have top-notch route running skills. He’s usually shorter and lighter than outside receivers, so he has to have quick feet and top speed to get open.
Depending on the play, he may also need to block. In fact, he is often the primary blocking target on running plays to the outside part of the field, as he’s lined up close to the defensive backs. He must be able to effectively chip nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and safeties, as well as perform a crack back block on defensive ends.
He’s also a critical cog in the passing game. He must be able to run precise routes and gain an understanding of the quarterback’s timing. He’s frequently called into action on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds, and has to be able to handle the ball like a running back on those occasions.
Slot players also need advanced ability to block. While they don’t have to deal crushing blocks like other wide receivers, they still need to be able to seal off defenders and allow the outside receivers to get open. This requires a strong work ethic and attention to detail, as well as an ability to read defenses.
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