The slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up just behind the line of scrimmage. He is usually a slightly shorter and more agile player than an outside wide receiver. He has to be able to run just about any route, and he’s a crucial part of the offense on passing plays. He also is a big part of the backfield on running plays, where he often helps block for the ball carrier.
In recent years, the NFL has started to rely on slot receivers more and more, as they have become extremely effective at getting open. In fact, in the past few seasons, nearly 40 percent of pass attempts have gone to a slot receiver.
A good slot receiver has a lot of speed and great hands, but he needs to be extremely precise when he runs routes. He’s going to be running to the inside and the outside, deep, short, and all kinds of different ways, and he has to know how to pick up and read those routes quickly.
He’ll need to be able to handle pressure from defenders, too. He’s not going to have to deal with devastating hits like an outside receiver, but he still needs to be able to stay on his feet, get to the quarterback fast, and make sure he’s not caught off guard.
They also have to be able to take blocks and prevent defenders from getting to the ball carrier. They’re also usually in a spot on the field that is crucial for sweeps and slant runs to be successful.
Slot receivers are also sometimes used as ball carriers from time to time. This can occur on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. They will be called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback and have to be able to get to the ball before the defender does, which requires speed and coordination.
The best slot receivers will be able to do all of these things, and they’ll have a few specific skills that set them apart from the rest of the wide receivers on the field. It’s important for a coach to study and understand what makes a slot receiver tick.
Despite the success that slot receivers have had in the NFL, there are still some myths about them. Some teams see them as an afterthought, while others consider them a legitimate position all on their own.
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