Slots – The Slot Receiver in the NFL

A slot is a narrow opening that fits something into it, like a coin in a machine or a seat belt in a car. It can also refer to a position in a schedule or program. For example, you can book a time slot to see a particular doctor.

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The slot receiver is the second wide receiver in an NFL offense, primarily responsible for receiving short passes behind the line of scrimmage. They are not as physically imposing as other receivers, but they can still be very effective by running precise routes and being very fast. They are often used to run pitch plays and reverses, as well as end-arounds.

Traditionally, the slot receiver has been shorter and stockier than the other wide receivers on the team. This was the strategy of former Oakland Raiders coach Al Davis, who wanted his players to be able to get open and catch quick passes. He emphasized that slot receivers should have speed and great hands, and be precise in their routes. This made his team extremely difficult to defend.

Another important aspect of the slot receiver role is that they can also act as a running back on some plays. This is particularly common on pitch plays and reverses, when the quarterback will snap the ball to the slot receiver before handing it off to a running back. This requires good coordination with the running back, and it also helps if the slot receiver is very fast.

Some slot receivers are considered to be some of the best in the NFL, with a number of them having prolific careers. Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, and Keenan Allen are among the top receivers who play this position. Others who have excelled in the slot include Wes Welker, Andre Rison, and Julian Edelman.

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