Slot is a term that is used to describe a wide receiver who lines up in the middle of the field instead of on the outside. This position has been growing in popularity throughout the NFL, and it has been used by several teams to great effect over the years.
Some of the most successful slot receivers have been Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, and Keenan Allen. These players are all known for their speed, route-running skills, and ability to take on defenders from every angle.
They also have excellent hands and are very accurate with their routes and timing. This makes them very difficult to defend, and they’ve helped lead their teams to many victories over the years.
The Slot Receiver’s Role on Passing Plays
On passing plays, the Slot receiver runs routes that are similar to those of other receivers in an attempt to confuse defenders and make them think that they have one receiver covering them when in fact there is another. This is an effective way to get a defense out of position and increase the chance that the ball carrier will gain a first down.
In addition to running these routes, the Slot receiver will also block defenders on certain running plays, too. On sweeps, he’ll be in a position to seal off outside linebackers and safeties by using his body and legs to cover them while the ball carrier gets off the ground.
Depending on the specific play, the Slot receiver may need to carry the ball from time to time, too. He’ll usually have to move quickly in pre-snap motion when the quarterback calls him for this. This is crucial for pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds because it allows the Slot receiver to catch the ball before his defender can.
He’ll also be in a position to help the ball carrier with slants and sweeps by sealing off defenders on the outside of the field. This is because of where he’s lined up and his pre-snap motion, which allows him to be in position to catch the ball before his defender can get there.
They’re also important on a number of running plays, too, because they’re in a position to be a big decoy for future plays. They’ll often be called into pre-snap motion for pitches, reverses, and end-arounds in order to create open space for the ball carrier and to avoid being hit by defenders.
The Slot Receiver’s role on Running Plays
The slot receiver’s role on running plays is to block defenders from the outside, as well as from the inside and deep. He will need to be able to block the nickelback, outside linebacker, and safeties. He can also perform a crack back block on defensive ends.
These are just a few of the important roles that the Slot receiver will have on the field, but there are a lot more! The Slot receiver is a valuable player for any team.