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The name “slot” comes from the area in which slot receivers line up. Usually, slot receivers are lined up pre-snap between the outside wide receiver and the offensive tackle on the line of scrimmage.
A slot receiver can do many things on the football field that most wideouts can’t, which is why they’re known as a “secret weapon” for offenses. Their skills include speed, hands and chemistry with the quarterback.
Route Running – They run routes to help the quarterback keep the ball away from defenders. They can also help the quarterback get outside of a zone defense, which can give them more space to run with the ball.
Chemistry – They need to have good chemistry with the quarterback, and it’s important that they are comfortable working with him. This will allow them to improve their game.
Blocking – They can also help the quarterback block on plays that involve the running back or wideout, which gives them more space to move with the ball. This helps them stay in the pocket longer and makes it easier for the quarterback to find them on downs.
The slot receiver’s speed allows them to get past the secondary on go routes, while their hands help them make the catch. They also are able to pick up blitzes from linebackers and secondary players, providing the RB or wideout more space.
A slot receiver can also play the fullback or tight end role, but these positions are more common in football today. A slot receiver can be a key part of an offense, especially when the team lacks a good fullback or extra tight end.
There are several ways to become a slot receiver, but all of them have the same fundamentals: namely, speed and hands. In addition, they need to be able to block well when not running or catching the ball.
Slot Receiver Facts
The term slot receiver was first used in 1963 by Al Davis, who adapted Sid Gillman’s strategy of placing two wide receivers slightly behind the outside wide receivers on the field. This allowed the offense to maintain seven players on the line of scrimmage.
The slot receiver’s position has been of great importance in professional football for several decades, and a few exemplary players have helped pave the way for its popularity today. Some of these players include Wayne Chrebet, Wes Welker and Charlie Joiner.