The slot is a position in the NFL that allows a quarterback to stretch the field with multiple receivers, and also provides an extra blocker on outside run plays. It’s a crucial role that is hard to replicate with just one player, and it’s something teams need to focus on finding and developing to improve their chances of winning games. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the slot, including what routes they run, how they differ from a wideout, and more.
A slot is a narrow notch, groove, or opening, such as a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. If something slots into another object, it fits snugly. He dropped the coin into the slot and pressed the lever. The car seat belt slotted into place easily. A slot is also a position in a sequence or schedule. Visitors can book a time slot a week or more in advance.
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The primary job of a slot receiver is to receive passes from the quarterback and run routes. They need to have great route-running skills to get open against coverage and find open passing lanes. They also need to have great hands, as they receive a lot of contact when running routes. Finally, slot receivers need to be fast, as they are often asked to beat the defense on quick-hitting patterns.
Unlike other positions, the slot is not defined by height or weight, so anyone can play this position. In fact, some of the best slot receivers in the league are short or undersized. Some examples include Tyler Boyd, Cooper Kupp, and Davante Adams. However, these players are still effective in the slot because of their other skills.
The main differences between a slot and a wideout are their routes. While wideouts are used on most routes, slot receivers are usually limited to a few key patterns. They also tend to be more suited to speed routes, as they need to be fast to beat the secondary. In addition, they are frequently used to block for running backs on outside run plays, as they can help prevent blitzes from linebackers and provide protection against contact. Lastly, slot receivers are often positioned just behind the line of scrimmage, which gives them an advantage when it comes to blocking and reading the defense. This helps them get open for receptions on outside pass patterns. In addition, it can be easier for them to run deep routes because they have more room to accelerate when compared to a wide receiver.