Slot is a position within the wide receiver corps that has become almost a necessity for NFL offenses. They not only provide quarterbacks with another reliable option when it comes to catching passes but also give the offense an extra blocker on running plays. Without a quality slot receiver, quarterbacks would have a much harder time stretching the field and attacking all three levels of the defense.
Unlike the typical wide receiver, who looks more like a running back, the slot receiver is typically shorter and stockier. They also tend to have a lot more speed than their outside counterparts. This allows them to run a variety of routes and can make them extremely dangerous for defenses that are trying to cover them from different angles.
On passing plays, the slot receiver will often run routes that correspond with the other wide receivers in order to confuse the defense and create openings for the ball carrier to exploit. On running plays, they’ll be important blockers for the ball carrier on sweeps and slant runs.
Because of their size and speed, it’s not uncommon for a slot receiver to double as a running back from time to time. This will usually occur on play-action pass attempts or pitch plays where the offensive coach calls for the Slot receiver to get into a pre-snap motion that’s similar to a running back’s. This will allow them to set up a wall of blocks that will be difficult for the defenders to penetrate through.
A good slot receiver is capable of handling both aspects of the position, and he’ll be expected to have great hands, top-notch route-running skills, and precision timing. They’ll need to be able to run all the routes a wide receiver can — inside and out, short and deep.
Having great hands is crucial for this type of player, as they’ll likely have to come up with ways to get open on their own if the team isn’t giving them enough targets. This is especially true on plays where they’re lining up out of the slot, as they may be responsible for blocking one or more of the outside linebackers.
As long as they’re positioned correctly and can keep up with the run game, they should be able to catch some of the easier passes that the QB throws behind the line of scrimmage. This will give them the opportunity to rack up a lot of yards and touchdowns over the course of a season.
Slot is a position that requires a great deal of attention to detail. In the past, electromechanical slot machines had tilt switches that could cause a machine to reset or stop working altogether. While modern slots don’t have tilt switches, any kind of mechanical fault can still affect the outcome of a spin. That’s why it’s important for players to pay attention to the way a machine performs over several pulls. If they notice any issues, it’s a good idea to take note of them and try to fix them.