Slot Receivers

A slot receiver is a wide receiver that lines up slightly off of the line of scrimmage, giving them more options to do things that an outside receiver can’t. These players are generally faster than outside receivers, and they have a lot of skill at running specific routes.

Speed and Hands: The best slot receivers have the speed to get past their defensive backs when they run a go route, as well as good hands. This helps them absorb contact and keep their arms strong to make a catch.

Lineup – Most slot receivers line up behind the offensive line, just a few steps off the line of scrimmage. This allows them to have more flexibility on the field, and gives them a better chance to stretch the defense vertically.

Pre-Snap Motion – Most slot receivers have a pre-snap motion that allows them to run around the defense with speed, making them difficult to tackle. This motion allows them to break through a hole, or even pick up blitzes from linebackers and secondary players. This can be a big advantage on certain plays, like pitch plays and reverses.

Blocker – Most slot receivers are also good at blocking, which can give their quarterback time to throw the ball downfield. They are often used on outside run plays to help protect the RB and give him space to operate.

Playmaker – A slot receiver may not have the same level of athleticism as a wideout, but they can still make plays with their speed and skills on special teams. They can be used on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds to provide a little extra help for the RB and wideouts.

The slot position evolved in 1963 with the invention of the slot area, an area a few steps off the line of crimmage that allowed coaches to set two wide receivers on opposite sides of the defense. This strategy was developed by Al Davis, an assistant coach for the Oakland Raiders, and it quickly took off.

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